When a caddy concert opens on the PGA Tour, there is no shortage of candidates for the job. When does one of the hottest players on the planet announce that they are making a change to their shopping cart? Open season.
When Tony Finau announced after the Memorial that he would split up with longtime looper Greg Bodine in favor of a new full-time caddy, he was inundated with requests. “We have been fortunate to have a number of fantastic guys expressing interest,” said his agent Chris Armstrong.
Last week, Finau went with his coach Boyd Summerhays on the bag and the duo was very successful, marking a milestone in T3. They also had a lot of laughs after Summerhays’ calves and shorts left him with a bright streak of burns on the lower legs.
“I started calling it” strawberries and cream “because it was white, red, white, like a strawberry semifreddo,” said Finau. But Summerhays will (almost) come out on top, as both sides have made it clear that Summerhays’ role will remain as a coach.
This week, Finau showed up in Memphis with a new man on the stock exchange: Mark Urbanek. Prior to this period, James Hahn spent Urbanek for several years, including both his victories in the PGA Tour: the Northern Trust Open 2015 and the Wells Fargo Championship 2016.
In addition to his established caddy credentials, Urbanek has an absolute cannon for one arm. A video captured during a player championship practice session put him on display when he threw a golf ball from the 17th tee box onto the green, a throw of about 400 feet.
Neither change is long term. Armstrong has confirmed that Finau will exercise patience as the process continues and that he will not make any final decisions immediately.
“He is excited to be working with Mark this week. We have heard some really good things about him. “
The open Finau concert may have been the hottest spot for free agent caddies, but it turned out that it’s not even the highest profile caddy change of the week. That’s because world number 3 Justin Thomas is bringing one of the most famous caddies of all time for filling circuits to this week’s WGC and next week’s PGA Championship.
Mike, Justin’s father, fell for him on Memorial Tournament weekend after his usual bagman Jimmy Johnson got sick from the heat. On Wednesday in Memphis, Golf Channel reported that “retired” caddy Jim “Bones” Mackay will take over until Johnson feels better after experiencing the dizziness.
While Mackay’s full-time concert became an analyst with NBC Sports, it successfully crashed for Matthew Fitzpatrick at Workday (T27) and Memorial (third soloist).
Even more famous, Phil Mickelson has won five majors and 41 PGA Tour events with Mackay alongside him – including the 2005 PGA championship. This means that Thomas will have plenty of experience alongside him at TPC Southwind and TPC Harding Park in the next two weeks.
If Thomas and Finau each keep their recent form, their compilation carts are lined up for a few serious paydays. What if the size is not entirely correct? There will be suitable caddy waiting on the phone, hoping only for a call.