Next in the lead analyst chair for NBC Sports? A famous caddie

jim bones mackay looks over a green

The next talking head to take on NBC Sports' lead analyst role will set aside his caddie bib for at least one week.

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The next talking head to take a seat in NBC Sports’ lead-analyst chair will set aside his golf clubs and caddie bib for at least one week. Jim “Bones” Mackay, caddie for Justin Thomas and former long-time looper for Phil Mickelson, will serve as lead TV analyst for this week’s Mexico Open at Vidanta.

Although NBC Sports has had a revolving door of lead analysts “try out” for the gig ever since Paul Azinger’s contract wasn’t renewed late last year, an NBC Sports spokesperson told that Mackay isn’t in consideration for the role. He’s simply helping out with Thomas taking the week off. (Golfweek first reported the news.)

According to NBC, Mackay will serve as on-course reporter for Thursday’s first round, and he’ll be a part of a three-person booth alongside Brad Faxon and Dan Hicks the final three rounds. This will be the first time an active caddie has sat in the lead-analyst chair, and while that seat will be new for Mackay, other parts of the gig won’t be. He was an on-course reporter for NBC Sports from 2017 to 2021, up until he left the role to caddie for Thomas full-time (he’s continued to dabble in some broadcasts since).

“He knows my tendencies, I know his,” Thomas said in October 2021. “He was with his old boss [Phil Mickelson] for a really long time and I was with Jimmy for a really long time and you get used to how the pro and the caddie act, just their mannerisms and stuff. We still have a long ways to go, but we’re getting more and more comfortable.”

Mackay’s week in the booth follows stints by Paul McGinley, Curt Byrum, Kevin Kisner and Brandel Chamblee. Other potential fill-ins have been rumored, but nothing has yet to be confirmed for future tournaments.

The Mexico Open begins on Thursday at Vidanta Vallarta in Vallarta, Mexico. World No. 24 Tony Finau is the highest-ranked player in the field.

Josh Berhow Editor

As’s managing editor, Berhow handles the day-to-day and long-term planning of one of the sport’s most-read news and service websites. He spends most of his days writing, editing, planning and wondering if he’ll ever break 80. Before joining in 2015, he worked at newspapers in Minnesota and Iowa. A graduate of Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minn., he resides in the Twin Cities with his wife and two kids. You can reach him at