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08/15/05 Update: 

Jim MacKay has been Phil Mickelsons' caddy for the past 15 years on the PGA Tour.  Jim has been on the bag for 24 or so of Phil's wins.  The 2005 PGA Championship victory is Phil's second after last years Masters victory and Jims second 'caddy win' on the bag.  

Jim 'Bone's MacKay originally came out to caddy on the PGA Tour for Larry Mize, in 1990, and then started working for Phil in 1991.  Jim has caddied for a lot of other players on tour as well, and also caddied for Mark Calcavechia when he won a Sarazen World Open, in the late 1990's, an unofficial and early World Golf Tour event.

There have been some long term caddy relationships over the years amongst the top players who've won major championships in the history of professional golf particularly in the era since television has covered the game.  There was Angelo Argea with Jack Nicklaus, Creamy Carolan with Arnold Palmer, and in this era Jim is the longest surviving 'steady' caddy with Phil since 1991.  (Steve Williams currently has the second longest working relationship with Tiger Woods of top player/caddies who've won majors together).  Our congrats to Phil and Jim and the following is a brief interview we did with Jim after a victory early in the 2002 PGA Tour season at the Bob Hope Classic:

CaddyBytes.com -You guys came out for your first tournament of the year here in 2002, Phil took 4 months off prior to this tourney and Wham!, Phil wins the tournament!   A little surprised to have success so soon in the season?

Jim  -He played very well, he'd taken four months off.  He birdied the first four holes in his first competitive round of the year and shot 30 on the first nine.  So it was just a matter of keeping it going after that.  Obviously he was feeling great about the state of his game.  And on Sunday it was incredibly bunched up, everybody was trying to get to 30 under. And there were lots of guys at minus 27 and 8, and Phil birdied the last three holes.   He made a very difficult putt on 16, an even harder putt on 17, and made the great flop shot on 18.  So two huge things happened for him that week, Phil shot 30 on his first nine and got to 30 under par!

  -And of course you won in a playoff birdying the last hole again as well!  I see and today's golf fans see you at times on television, when you and Phil are looking over a putt, and one thing I always see that you do, is to stand in over the putt, and take a look from the players eye view.  It appears as it would be if you were over the ball and going to putt it yourself.  I know myself, that as a caddy, reading greens for golf professionals, especially for one of the best players in the world is at times a difficult area for caddies in general.   And I know these guys can and will start that golf ball on exactly the correct line you tell them.  Which means we, as caddies better be correct.  I found that the better the putter, the easier was my communication on the greens and the better the results, but we all have our days!  One thing we become aware of after you caddy out here a while is that  even the 'so called' worst putter on the pro tour is 10 times better than the 'average Joe' out there at home.  But this is an area, and most caddies will tell you, (off the record), in many instances,  they'd rather not have the onus of reading greens, -it's an area you can have a lot of problems with.  With that said,  Any tips for the folks out there about reading greens?

Jim  -Yeah, I'll say this about reading greens.  One thing about reading greens in the Desert in Palm Springs -there are mountains around.  The ball is going to break away from the mountains whenever there are any around a golf course.   That's certainly the case at the Hope, especially at the Indian Wells and PGA West golf courses.

CaddyBytes.com  –What would you say is one of the most important roles caddies play, not just you with regard to caddying for Phil, but with regard to the role of caddying for these professional tour players today?

Jim -I think that one thing a caddy does is to present options.  When you have guys out here who are as talented as these players are and can hit the ball as far as they do.  In one instance, it might be a perfect 7 iron, but it can also be a cut 6, or a hard 8.  Just depending on how their feeling, how well they're hitting the ball and what not.  So one of the things I think that the caddies do out here is to present options. As you know these players on this level are all so talented!

CaddyBytes.com  -Any funny caddy story you can recall from over the years?

Jim  -one of the most unique stories was while caddying at Poppy Hills, 1993 AT&T tournament, standing on the 7th tee caddying for Phil cold and damp day, next to no spectators out there.  There was two guys standing on the tee, and waiting for us to tee off, waiting for the group in front of us to play.  And we're standing there having a drink of water and this guy comes down the cart path on this bicycle right by the tee and we're just watching him as he cruises down the hill.  And one of the guys notices him drive by and then says 'Hey, that's my bike!.  Turns out this guy had just stolen this guys bike, ridden it down the cart path right past the guy who actually owned it.  He ran down the hill, knocked the guy off the bike, and rode away.   This all happened in about 15 seconds and when we left the tee, the guy was still there in the mud!

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