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Jim ‘Bones’ Mackay, the former long-time caddie for Phil Mickelson, has announced that he is coming out of retirement – for two weeks only.

The Surrey-born looper will loop for Matt Fitzpatrick in the Workday Charity Classic at Muirfield Village next week, followed by the Memorial Tournament at the same course the following week.

With Fitzpatrick’s regular caddie Billy Foster opting to remain in England as the PGA Tour resumes following the COVID-19 lockdown, the 25-year-old has used a stand-in for his last three tournaments, with unremarkable results. 

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That prompted Bones – who split from Mickelson in June 2017 after 25 years together – to reach out and offer his services via text.

“The message said it was Bones, and he heard through the grapevine that I was in the market for a fill-in caddie,” Fitzpatrick told Golf Digest. “I told him I was honoured that he was even reaching out.”

Bones has been a fill-in on one other occasion since he put down Mickelson’s bag and picked up a microphone in his new capacity as an on-course reporter for NBC Sports. 

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In 2018, he helped out Justin Thomas at the Sony Open when the American’s regular bagman had to sit it out through injury. Thomas finished in a tie for 14th that week and Fitzpatrick will be hoping that good fortune rubs off on in him in the back-to-back weeks in Ohio.

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It is expected that the measure will be temporary, with Foster set to resume his duties alongside Fitzpatrick at the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational later this month.

Meanwhile, the PGA Tour has announced that Chase Koepka has been added to the field for next week’s Workday Charity Open. 

The American came through a Monday qualifier for last week’s Travelers Championship but, despite testing negative for COVID-19, he withdrew prior to the start of the event to protect the field after having had close contact with two caddies who subsequently tested positive for the disease. 

Koepka’s selflessness has been rewarded with an invite to Muirfield Village.

“Given the extraordinary circumstances that led to his withdrawal after Monday qualifying, a start in the Workday Charity Open was the right thing to do,” said PGA Tour Chief of Operations Tyler Dennis.

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Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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