ATLANTA – Jim “Bones” Mackay remembers the rush of his first Ryder Cup in 1995 like it was yesterday – the team room, the uniforms and the travel.
“Until (his boss, Phil Mickelson) won his first major in 2004 it was the highlight of my caddying career,” Mackay said on Friday at East Lake.
Little surprise, then, that about 10 minutes after Mackay learned that three U.S. caddies – the loopers for Tiger Woods, Stewart Cink and Rickie Fowler – were being bumped from the team charter that is leaving Atlanta at 10 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, he didn’t think twice about giving his business-class seat to Joe Skovron, Fowler’s caddie and a Ryder Cup rookie.
“I knew how excited I was for my first one in ’95,” Mackay said. “I would have been bummed if I couldn’t have ridden with the rest of the team and I wanted him to have the full experience.”
Skovron, Woods’ caddie Steve Williams and Cink’s looper Frank Williams were bumped from the charter because of a last-minute plane change that limited the number of business-class seats.
Mackay has been given a seat in the coach section of the charter while Steve and Frank Williams will fly commercially to Wales and the PGA will reimburse them for their expenses an official told GolfChannel.com.
All 12 team members will be on the charter, including Woods who is expected to fly to Atlanta on Sunday. Cink spent the last few days working on his game at Sea Island (Ga.) Resort but was headed to his home in Atlanta on Saturday while Fowler was planning to arrive Sunday afternoon.
As for the lone European team member playing this week’s Tour Championship, Luke Donald said he plans to fly commercially on Sunday night with his family. Asked which airline he was flying Donald smiled, “British Airways.” Of course.