'Bones' among caddies dealing with stomach virus


Updated at 6:30 p.m. ET

MEXICO CITY – A similar stomach virus that caused Henrik Stenson to withdraw from the WGC-Mexico Championship after just 11 holes on Thursday and slowed Rory McIory’s return to the PGA Tour took a toll on caddies on Friday.

Phil Mickelson’s longtime caddie, Jim “Bones” Mackay, was suffering from similar conditions on Friday and Mickelson’s brother, Tim, was put on standby to caddie.

Mackay arrived at the 10th tee (Mickelson’s first hole of the round) in time, but on the fourth green Mackay exited the course and was replaced by Tim Mickelson.

“You can't replace somebody likes Bones,” said Mickelson, who finished with a 68 for a share of second place. “He's phenomenal and he's so good with club selection and strategy and so forth, but my brother's a great player and he did a phenomenal job today.”

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It marked the first time Mickelson played an official event without Mackay on the bag since the 2012 Singapore Open, when his father-in-law, Gary McBride, had to step in.

“[Mickelson] has only had three caddies: his father-in-law, Bones and me, and I’m retired,” his manager, Steve Loy, said.

Mickelson bogeyed the first hole, No. 14, with his brother on the bag, but rebounded with a birdie at the next and was perfect the rest of the way.

“It was fun. It was the first time we were able to do that and it was fun,” said Tim Mickelson, who is Jon Rahm’s manager. “Trust me, I don’t want Bones’ job, though. I have a whole new respect. Every hole seems uphill.”

There was an interesting moment midway through Mickelson’s round when he’d missed the fairway at the second hole well left and was blocked by a row of trees. Without consulting his brother, Lefty hit an aggressive flop shot that didn’t clear the trees. Asked if he tried to give his brother any advice, Tim Mickelson smiled, “Well, he’s never listened to me on the course or off the course, so nothing is going to change.”

Kevin Kisner’s caddie, Duane Bock, was also slowed by a stomach virus on Day 2, but managed to complete the round.