A caddie-golfer relationship is indispensable since they’re both looking out for each other — be it with reading greens or pushing to perform their best. The same applies to Justin Thomas’ new caddie, who helped him bag the 2022 PGA Championship!
Who is Justin Thomas’ caddie in 2023? Justin Thomas’ caddie is Jim “Bones” Mackay, who previously worked with Phil Mickelson for 25 years. The duo started working together in September 2021 and won the 2022 PGA Championship, winning $2,700,000 in prize money, with Mackay getting 10%.
Understanding more about Justin Thomas’s caddy will keep you up-to-date on the Tour events, so you can get the most out of watching the tournaments each week.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about him, from his previous work relationships to his recent wins with Thomas.
Who Is Justin Thomas’ Caddie in 2023? Brief Overview
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Justin Thomas managed to bag one of the most experienced caddies on the market — Jim “Bones” Mackay. Bones was Phil Mickelson’s caddie for 25 years!
During Mackay’s time with Phil, they won 41 PGA Tour titles and five Majors! It was one of the longest partnerships in golf that ended in 2017. Parting ways was an amicable decision for the duo, who agreed it felt like the right time to experience change.
However, several controversies were intertwined in their split, as many people, including author Alan Shipnuck, consider financial issues as the reason for the duo’s separation.
Mickelson lost millions of dollars gambling. So he could not pay his caddie his portion of the prize money, which added up to $900,000, resulting in Mackay leaving him.
After leaving Mickelson, Mackay was a commentator at NBC Sports/Golf Channel. But, this was not the end of his caddying days as he decided to pair up with Justin Thomas in 2018 for the Sony Open. Then, they paired up again in 2020 and won the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.
So one year later, when Justin Thomas split up with his caddie Jimmy Johnson, it only made sense for the spectacular golfer to ask Mackay to pick up his bag permanently.
Jim “Bones” Mackay Key Facts
- Born in Surrey, England, in 1965
- Has spent most of his life in Florida, where he was raised
- Stands at a towering 6-ft, 4-inches
- Became a caddie for Larry Mize when he met him
- Caddied for Phil Mickelson for 25 years
- His nickname “Bones” was given to him by Fred Couples when he forgot his name
- Had both his knees replaced in October 2016
- He has inducted in the Caddie Hall of Fame in 2017
When Did Jim Mackay Become Justin Thomas’ Caddie?
Jim Mackay became Justin Thomas’ full-time caddie in September 2021 after the Ryder Cup. But they started working together more sporadically.
After Mackay parted from Mickelson and became a commentator at NBC Sports/Golf Channel, it looked like he would not caddie again. However, the offer to caddie for Justin Thomas at the 2018 Sony Open was too good of an opportunity to pass up.
Their partnership proved successful, and Thomas once again asked Mackay to caddie for him at the 2020 WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, which Mackay agreed to.
Yet Justin Thomas still had a full-time caddie at the time in Jimmy Johnson, so these were no more than brief team-ups. Yet this all changed when Thomas and Johnson split in 2021.
When the offer was extended from Thomas to Mackay for a full-time position as his caddie, he leapt at the opportunity. But it was not without difficulty, as he had to leave a full-time job to do so. As caddying is largely commission based, there is inherent financial uncertainty. Mackay fell more foul of this than anyone when Mickelson failed to pay him what was owed due to his gambling problems.
Yet he knew it was the right decision. Speaking on the matter, Mackay said: “If I was ever to caddie again, this was the time, and without question, this was the player.”
Read more: Who is Tiger Woods’ Caddie?
How Much Does Justin Thomas’ Caddie Make?
Caddies usually get 5 % of the prize money if their golfer finishes outside the top 10 and 6-8% if they finish within the top 10. They get 10% of the prize if their golfer wins first place but that’s decided between the two parties and is usually confidential.
As of yet, Justin Thomas has enjoyed one Major win after having Jim Mackay carrying his bag (2022 PGA Championship). The payout for this event was $2,700,000, and Mackay got 10%, i.e. $270,000.
Thomas is extremely generous to his caddies, with his previous caddie becoming the PGA Tour’s highest-paid caddie in 2020 with an overall payout of $502,851.
Thomas and Mackay will likely enjoy several wins, and the latter might become the highest-paid PGA Tour caddie too!
Read More: How Much Do Caddies Make?
Justin Thomas and Jim Mackay’s Accomplishments Together
Just a few months after pairing up, Justin Thomas and Jim Mackay enjoyed a big win. They won the PGA Tour Membership in May 2022, increasing Thomas’ Majors from one to two.
Thomas had previously won the PGA Championship in 2017 with Jimmy Johnson as his caddie.
The 2022 PGA Championship is not the only tournament that Thomas and Mackay have won together. They previously joined forces at the 2020 WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational and won first place.
I’ve summarized Jim Mackay and Justin Thomas’ accomplishments together below.
- The 2022 PGA Tour Championship with $2,700,000 prize money.
- The 2020 WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational with $1,820,000 prize money.
Jim Mackay And Justin Thomas’ Relationship
Mackay and Thomas have developed an extremely strong relationship.
Mackay was always keen on caddying for Thomas. In 2017, after his 25-year partnership with Mickelson ended, he was awarded entry into the Caddie Hall of Fame. So he could easily continue working at his lucrative job at NBC instead of carrying Justin Thomas’ clubs around.
However, caddying has become a part of Mackay, and he missed the thrill of the chase that came with the Ryder Cup, the Masters, the British Open, and all other Major Championships.
Additionally, he had always wanted to caddy for Thomas. In fact, after leaving his job with Mickelson, he even said he’d only caddie again for Justin Thomas.
So considering that both Thomas and Mackay adored each other before working together, it isn’t surprising that they get along well.
Thomas even gives Mackay credit for his 2022 PGA Tour Championship win. He believes that he wouldn’t have taken the trophy home if it weren’t for his caddie’s motivation and support!
Even Justin Thomas’ father, Mike Thomas, appreciated Mackay’s work and effort. He’s thankful for the phenomenal caddie’s excellent words that helped his son win a second Major!
Read more: Who Is Rory McIlroy’s Caddie?
Who Were Justin Thomas’ Previous Caddies?
Justin Thomas’ old caddy was Jimmy Johnson. They began their partnership in 2015 and enjoyed six successful years together.
As a duo, Justin and Jimmy have won thirteen professional championships. I’ve listed all of them below.
|SBS Tournament of Champions||2017||$1,220,000|
|Dell Technologies Championship||2017||$1,575,000|
|The Honda Classic||2018||$1,188,000|
|WGC- Bridgestone Invitational||2018||$1,700,000|
|Sentry Tournament of Champions||2020||$1,340,000|
|The Players Championship||2021||$4,500,000|
Now you must be wondering, if their partnership was so successful, why did Justin Thomas change caddies? Because Jimmy Johnson wanted to separate.
After the 2021 Ryder Cup, Johnson approached Thomas and told him he’d like to pursue different opportunities. So Thomas had no choice but to let his six-year partner go.
So who does Jimmy Johnson caddie for now? Well, nobody at the moment. The 79-year-old caddie is on a break and isn’t caddying for anyone.
Before joining Thomas’ Bag, Johnson worked for Nick Price, Charles Howel III, Adam Scott, and Steve Stricker. He helped all his bosses win several championships with his exceptional course knowledge and constant motivation and support.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who Is Caddying for Justin Thomas?
Jim "Bones" Mackay is Justin Thomas’ current caddie. They began working together after he split from his old caddie Jimmy Johnson in 2021. Mackay is an elite caddie who worked with the great Phil Mickelson for 25 years. During his caddying hiatus, he also worked as a commentator at NBC Sports/Golf Channel.
Why Did Jim Mackay Quit Caddying for Phil Mickelson?
Jim Mackay and Phil Mickelson split amicably, according to their public statements. However, rumors have it that financial issues were the culprit behind their split. Mickelson owed Mackay $900,000. But since he lost money due to gambling, he couldn't pay his caddie, and the two had to separate.
What Happened Between Justin Thomas and His Old Caddie?
Just Thomas' old caddy, Jimmy Johnson, wanted to pursue other opportunities. So he asked Thomas to part ways in 2021, and his boss had no choice but to let his excellent caddie go. Together, the two bagged thirteen championships with one Major!
What Is Jim Bones Mackay's Net Worth?
Jim “Bones” Mackay is an American caddy with a net worth of approximately $5 million. He earns between $500,000-$1,000,000 annually. He works as Justin Thomas’ caddy in 2023 and gets 5-10% of each match’s earnings.
Who is Justin Thomas’ caddie? As of 2023, Justin Thomas’ caddie is Jim “Bones” Mackay. With Mackay’s continuous support and valuable insights, Justin Thomas was able to win a Major Championship within the first few months of their partnership! Thomas even believes he wouldn’t have been able to stay calm and win the match without his caddie’s support.
This is the perfect example of a strong caddie. They can make or break a golfer. A good caddie knows precisely what their golfer needs, whether it’s the right iron or just a word or two of motivation.
As a skilled golfer and wordsmith, Abdulmoiz brings a fresh and engaging voice to the golfing world. Whether he’s on the course or at the keyboard, he strives to improve and inspires others to do the same.