Phil Mickelson won his first major title in 2004, when he beat Ernie Els by one to win the Masters at Augusta National.
It was the 47th major start for Mickelson, who at 33 years old had put his time in before nabbing the big one. His long-time caddie, Jim “Bones” Mackay, recently joined the No Laying Up Podcast and talked all-things Mickelson and caddying on Tour. One of the best stories Bones recounted was about the couple of people who were actually “devastated” that Mickelson won the 2004 Masters.
After the victory, Mackay didn’t see Mickelson for hours. Mickelson had media obligations, a dinner with Augusta members and more to tend to. Mackay eventually saw Lefty at about 10 p.m. in the parking lot.
“I look out to his car and I see some figures,” Mackay recalled. “It’s pitch black dark out there, and it’s Phil and two or three other people around him. So I walk there to kind of help out with packing the bag, and as I walk up to him, I see those guys hugging Phil. And they aren’t just hugging him. It’s an emotional hug. And as I get closer I realize I have no clue who these other two or three guys are, and I’m like, Who are these guys hugging Phil that I don’t know? I have been his caddie for quite a while now, and I have no clue who these guys are.
“Well it turns out, these are the guys who work in the lower locker room at Augusta National, who Phil has been tipping all of these years and taking such good care of. And now that Phil won the Masters he is going to the Champions locker room, and these guys are losing him forever and they are just devastated. So they are hugging it out in the parking lot. That’s really cool. That kind of speaks to how well he took care of them over the years.”
Sure, the workers were “devastated” he was leaving their locker room; but it’s safe to say they were happy for Mickelson, who is known to be a generous tipper. In June 2015 a story surfaced about him tipping two kids $99 at a lemonade stand on his way to the Memorial.
The entire podcast is worth a listen. You can check it out here.