Phil Mickelson says there’s ‘no replacing Bones’ as he begins his first full tournament without him on the bag.
The five-time major winner announced his split from Bones two weeks ago after an incredible 25 years together, saying that ‘the time was right for a change’, with brother Tim becoming his caddie until at least the end of the season.
Speaking ahead of the Greenbrier Classic, the 46-year-old said he was looking forward to working with his brother – but wanted to remain respectful to Bones.
“I'm hesitant to talk too much about anything because I'm so appreciative of the time I have had with Bones for 25 years that anything I say positively about what I'm looking forward to with Tim and so forth I feel would be taken as a shot at Bones,” explained Mickelson.
“I don't want to do that. I have too much respect for him and our time together over the years. The thing I would say is Tim is one of my favorite people. I love being around him.
"He's one of the people I respect the most, and throughout my career he's been so supportive of me.
“We've never had that kind of brotherly rivalry growing up. We're seven years apart. We've done nothing but support for each other throughout our lives. To have that type of friendship with my brother is something I really value, and this time together. But there is no replacing Bones.”
Mickelson hasn’t achieved a victory since his triumph at the 2013 Open at Muirfield and believes that freshening things up may have a bit of an impact on his performances.
“After having not won for four years, knowing that my game is at a level that is good enough to win but not having done it, I think the one thing is an element of being comfortable with my brother,” he added. “Maybe he’ll get me to relax a little bit more and take pressure off me and maybe I'll play my best that way.”