By Larry Fine
(Reuters) – Jim “Bones” Mackay, whose successful 25-year stint as Phil Mickelson’s caddie ended two weeks ago in a mutual split, has forged a new partnership as an on-course reporter for NBC Sports starting with this month’s British Open.
Mackay, who walked alongside Mickelson for all but one of the left-hander’s 42 PGA Tour wins, including five major titles, becomes the first full-time PGA Tour caddie to be signed for a tournament broadcasting role.
“I’m eager to add my take to help illustrate the strategic decisions golfers face inside the ropes,” Mackay told reporters during a conference call on Thursday.
This will not mark Mackay’s first taste at announcing as he and Matt Kuchar’s caddie John Wood worked together during the RSM Classic at Sea Island, Georgia, two years ago.
Mackay signed a multi-year deal with NBC and will begin at the July 20-23 British Open at Royal Birkdale for the year’s third major.
He will also work the FedExCup playoffs and the Presidents Cup later this year before taking on a full schedule for Golf Channel and NBC next year.
“The player-caddie dynamic is often one of the most compelling and unique narratives being captured during our coverage,” NBC’s lead golf producer Tommy Roy said.
“Bones has a career’s worth of experience being immersed in most pressure-packed situations on golf’s biggest stages working alongside Phil.”
(Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Frank Pingue)