Jim ‘Bones’ Mackay: The more Justin Thomas ‘got in the thick of it, the more he could smell blood’ at the 2022 PGA Championship

“Conversations with Champions, presented by Sentry” is a weekly series from Golfweek in collaboration with The Caddie Network, where we take you behind the scenes in a chat with the winning caddie from the most recent PGA Tour event. This week: Jim “Bones” Mackay, caddie for Justin Thomas¬† at the 2022 PGA Championship.

Is it possible there were as many people rooting for a caddie last Sunday as there were for a player?

Justin Thomas certainly has his legion of fans, and deservedly so, but one of the more well-known and popular caddies among golfers and fans alike is Jim “Bones” Mackay.

Bones was, of course, the long-time looper for Phil Mickelson but considered himself retired from caddying after hanging up the bib to work for NBC/Golf Channel.

Thomas got him back on the course, however, and while nothing comes easy, success has certainly followed the duo.

Thomas and Mackay are at this week’s PGA Tour stop, the Charles Schwab Challenge. John Rathouz from The Caddie Network caught up with Bones at the course and asked him about some cool moments from Sunday’s round.

“The more and more he got in the thick of it, the more he could smell blood, the extra levels his game went,” Mackay said of Thomas. “He played better and better and better as the day went on and that was a real fantastic thing, and a cool thing to witness as the caddie.”

This was Thomas’ 15th PGA Tour win and second major championship.

“He’s obviously got a lot of experience winning tournaments. He’s certainly a guy, you stay out of his way, he doesn’t need much from me,” Mackay said. “I think one of the biggest highlights of the week for me was on the 72nd hole, he hit this amazing drive and we’re trying, he’s trying, very hard to make a 3 there [on the par-4 closing hole] because he’s not looking at leaderboards at this point.

“Just to hear him hit a shot into a green that’s that tough to hit; the green looks like it’s on top of the clubhouse. And he hit a big cutting fade in there and to hear him talk that ball in the air, that was the highlight of the week for me. It was really cool.”