Legendary golf coach lifts lid on Justin Thomas split with Bones

Legendary golf coach Butch Harmon says he was 'shocked' Justin Thomas split with Jim 'Bones' Mackay before the 2024 Masters.

Justin Thomas
Justin Thomas

Tiger Woods' former golf coach Butch Harmon says he was 'shocked' Justin Thomas split with legendary caddie Jim 'Bones' Mackay on the eve of the 2024 Masters. 

Thomas made the surprising decision to part ways with the looper only seven days before his tilt at Augusta National. 

Bones and JT had been working together since 2020 and had enjoyed considerable success. 

Thomas alluded to that success when he confirmed the split on X, but there is no denying the golfer is struggling having not won for two years. 

"The PGA Championship in 2022, the Presidents Cup and the Ryder Cups were all unforgettable experiences," he wrote.

"I know there are great things coming for both of us down the road and wish him the best of luck and will always count him and his family amongst my friends."


Jim 'Bones' Mackay and Justin Thomas
Jim 'Bones' Mackay and Justin Thomas

Thomas, 30, and Mackay, 58, have remained tight-lipped over their separation. 

Harmon told GolfMagic it was 'very unusual' for Thomas to part ways with Bones one week before a major. 

He did exchange a few text messages with Mackay, Harmon said, but the looper was not forthcoming over why they have parted ways. 

"I was shocked at that," Harmon said. "Bones has caddied for JT for a few years now [they've had] two major championship
wins, been with Phil Mickelson for 25 years, [he is] truly one of the best caddies in the game.

"I talked to Bones last night through text, he didn't really let on on what happened or why it happened, so we've got to wait until one of them decides to let us know what the reason is.

"I was very surprised this would happen the week before first major of the year, it's a very unusual thing, if there was going to be a split you'd think it would be the week after. 

"To go into a major championship with a brand new caddie is kinda unheard of to be honest with you. I was just
surprised - as most of us are - that it actually came down."

According to a report by Golf Channel's Todd Lewis, Thomas will have Matt Minister on his bag at the Masters. 

Minister is perhaps best known for his spell with fellow American golfer Patrick Cantlay when he won the 2021 Tour Championship. 

Cantlay has since teamed up with Woods's former looper Joe LaCava. 

Thomas is now ranked 28th in the world and has 15 PGA Tour victories alongside his two major triumphs.   

World number one Scottie Scheffler is the overwhelming favourite to win the 2024 Masters

The Masters will be available on Sky Sports Golf and via a NOW subscription from 11th – 14th April, and you can follow all the latest news on Sky Sports social and digital channels throughout the week.

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