I dare say that Steve Williams and Jim 'Bones" Mackay have enjoyed more major championship success than any other caddies in the modern era. Which brings me to this question: If Bones is looking forward to a second career with another player, which at this point (given what we don't know... which may or may not be be something that prompted the split with Mickelson) may or may not be part of his future plans:
Back in the 2015 Open Championship, as some of us may recall... Mickelson went out early that final Sunday and ultimately finished 4 shots back of the lead, which prompted Bones to hang around long enough to become a spectator in the gallery to follow Spieth the last few holes of the tournament. Spieth was in contention and trying to win his third consecutive major that year.
Bones was asked during the last few holes of Spieth's final-round at the British Open that year what he personally thought of Spieth. "I just think the kid is special," Mackay said. "I think he's gifted between the ears. When I say gifted, I mean like Jack Nicklaus-gifted. Jordan is going to do amazing things because he's such a killer between the ears." And Bones went on to say, "Jordan's the closest thing to Tiger, mentally, that I've seen out here."
Which brings me to this question: if Bones is looking for a "second-act" in his caddying career, would Spieth consider dumping caddie Michael Greller to have one of the most prominent caddies of the modern era on his bag?
Or maybe John Rahm, who seems destined to win at least a few major championships, given his level of play and the potential that the long-hitting Spaniard has moving forward in his young, aspiring career?
Lots of questions... very few answers.... why would Jim "Bones" Mackay suddenly decide that he and Mickelson have enjoyed their better days and that a change is needed? Could it be an undisclosed health condition that prompts his retirement? Or perhaps that Bones realizes that however great Mickelson's game is despite his 47-years of age, he's not winning enough, or finishing high enough, in tournaments to continue the gig and that Phil's commitment level isn't where it used to be? Or could it be that Bones feels that he's still got a lot to offer for a younger, more promising player?
And should it be that latter aspect in play, who wouldn't want someone like Bones on their bag?
Would Bones have made a difference in the 2016 Masters as Spieth stood on that 12th green? Not to relive the past, nor any disrespect intended towards Michael Greller, but the caddie's obvious inability to reel in his player's focus on that hole to influence Jordan's target clearly shows a disconnect of trust within the player-caddie relationship.
Not to assume that Mickelson hasn't "overruled" Bones on more than one occasion.... most notably on the 72nd hole @ Winged Foot back in 2006.
But could Bones get Spieth back to the level where he was prior to the 2016 Augusta Meltdown? Or perhaps be the calming influence for a promising, yet highly emotional John Rahm?
This breaking news over the last 24 hours begs more questions than answers. And one additional question: Who does Mickelson bring in to caddie for him with what's left of his career? Joe LaCava has been mentioned, which can't be completely ignored, depending on LaCava's intentions as far as whether or not he's had enough of looping for big-names and is ready to call it a career?
I don't see Mickelson's brother holding down the position for the remainder of his career, not if he truly feels he has enough left in the tank for another major victory.
Like I said, more questions than answers.