Who are the most successful caddies in men’s golf majors of all time?

Jim “Bones” Mackay is at it again, carrying the bag and helping to strategize for Justin Thomas in this week’s PGA Championship as Thomas has climbed the leaderboard. Bones has five major titles to his caddy credit, making him one of the most successful loopers of all time in golf’s biggest events.

But, he doesn’t have the most wins.

Below, find a list of some of the caddies who have looped for the most men’s major championships. The list includes some caddies you might have heard of, and plenty who worked in the era in which caddies received almost none of the credit and were often expected to “show up, keep up and shut up.”

But most of them can claim plenty of credit in helping their golfers earn big titles. Then check out the Caddy Hall of Fame, from which some of this information has been obtained.

Tip Anderson palmer

Arnold Palmer with caddy Tip Anderson at the 1978 British Open (AP Photo)

Major wins: Three

Tip carried for Arnold Palmer’s British Open victories in 1961 and ’62. When Palmer couldn’t make it to the 1964 Open, the King suggested that Tip caddy for Tony Lema, who nabbed the victory. Anderson died at age 71 in 2004.

Jordan Spieth with Michael Greller at Bay Hill in Orlando (Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports)

Major wins: Three

Greller, a former school teacher, picked up Spieth’s bag as a career in 2013 and has caddied for all three of the pair’s major titles (2015 Masters, 2015 US Open, 2017 British Open). Greller first caddied for Spieth at the 2011 US Junior Amateur and the pair hit it off, leading to the fulltime gig later.

Arnold Palmer, Nathaniel Avery, Iron Man Avery

Arnold Palmer and Nathaniel “Iron Man” Avery at the 1963 Masters (AP Photo)

Major wins: Four

The Augusta National caddy carried for all four of Arnold Palmer’s Masters wins (1958, 1960, 1962, 1964). And he might have had one of the great motivating lines of all time. As documented in a Caddy Network story, Palmer was struggling down the stretch in the 1960 Masters when Avery asked, “Mr. Palmer… are we chokin ‘? ” before a fired-up Palmer birdied the final two holes to win. Avery died in 1985.

Ernie Els and Caddy Ricci Roberts at the 2017 British Open at Royal Birkdale (Stuart Franklin / Getty Images)

Major wins: Four

The South African Roberts was on the bag for all four of Ernie Els’ major triumphs (1994 and 1997 US Opens, 2002 and 2012 British Opens).

Nick Price with Squeeky Medlin Cart (Mike Cooper / ALLSPORT)

Major wins: Four

Nicknamed for his voice, Medlin carried for Nick Price in three major wins (1994 British Open, 1992 and 1994 PGAs). When Price couldn’t make it to the 1991 PGA because of the birth of his son, Medlin picked up the bag for an unheralded rookie, John Daly, and guided the long-hitting newcomer to his first major title.

Nick Faldo with Fanny Sunesson at the 1995 Ryder Cup (AP / Mark Lennihan)

Major wins: Four

The Swede became the first woman to earn a major title in 1990, looping for Nick Faldo as he defended his title in the Masters. Sunesson would go on to loop for Faldo in three more titles in the Masters and British Open. She parted ways with Faldo in 1999 and carried for Sergio Garcia, Fred Funk and Notah Begay III before joining forces with Faldo. She retired in 2012 to become a coach, but she has occasionally picked up bags since in majors.

Dave Musgrove Sandy Lyle

Sandy Lyle with Dave Musgrove in 1983 (Allsport UK / Allsport)

Major wins: Four

The longtime European Tour caddy carried for two major titles by Sandy Lyle (1985 British Open, 1988 Masters), one for Seve Ballesteros (1979 British Open) and one for Lee Janzen (1988 US Open). The Englishman started caddying at age 12 to earn six shillings a bag.

Rory McIlroy with JP Fitzgerald at the 2014 US Open at Pinehurst No. 2 (Golfweek files)

Major wins: Four

The Irishman carried for all four of Rory McIlroy’s major titles (2011 US Open, 2012 and 2014 PGAs, 2014 British Open). Fitzgerald, a talented amateur golfer who played at East Tennessee State, fell for McIlroy from 2008 to 2017, when the pair split as McIlroy hired his friend, Harry Diamond.

Jack Nicklaus with Angelo Argea in 1978 (AP / Paul Vathis)

Major wins: Four

Argea sported a big gray hairdo that stood out on TV, making him easily recognizable alongside Jack Nicklaus. It didn’t hurt that he carried on for two decades for the Golden Bear, including wins in the US Open, PGA Championship and British Open. He never caddied for Nicklaus at the Masters because local caddies were required.

Brooks Koepka and Rickie Elliott at the 2019 British Open at Royal Portrush (Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports)

Major wins: Four

The Northern Irishman has been on the bag for all four of Brooks Koepka’s major triumphs (2017 and 2018 US Opens, 2018 and 2019 PGA Championships). Elliot was a promising junior golfer in his own right before playing collegiately at the University of Toledo after having grown up playing often with fellow Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell.

Jack Nicklaus holds up his putter as his caddy, Willie Peterson, leaps into the air after a putt for birdie on the first hole at the 1971 Masters. (AP / Perry Aycock)

Major wins: Five

Peterson was on the bag for five of Jack Nicklaus’ wins at Augusta National (1963, 1965, 1966, 1972 and 1975). The only time Jack won with somebody else looping at Augusta was 1986, when his son Jackie saw his 46-year old dad win up close. Before 1983, Augusta National required players to take local caddies instead of their regular PGA Tour loopers, and Peterson took over Nicklaus’ bag in 1959 when the Golden Bear was still an amateur. Peterson died in 1999 at age 61.

Tom Watson with Alfie Fyles 1977

Tom Watson with Alfie Fyles at the 1977 British Open at Turnberry in Scotland. (AP Photo)

Major wins: Five

The Englishman was on the bag for all five of Tom Watson’s British Open titles (1975, 1977, 1980, 1982 and 1983) – Watson’s regular Tour-based caddy, Bruce Edwards, never got a British title. Fyles’ most famous advice might have come in 1977, when he advised Watson to hit a 7-iron instead of a 6-iron on the closing hole, and Watson stuffed the shot to within two feet of the flag to hold off Jack Nicklaus at Turnberry in the Duel in the Sun.

Phil Mickelson with Jim “Bones” Mackay in 2017 (Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports)

Major wins: Five

Bones carried the bag for Phil Mickelson in five of Lefty’s major titles (2005 PGA; 2004, 2006 and 2010 Masters; 2013 British Open). The veteran split from Mickelson in 2017, and Mackay went on to double knee replacement and work as a television on-course commentator. In 2021, he picked up the full-time bag for Justin Thomas. Born in England and raised in Florida, Bones played collegiate golf at Columbus College in Georgia before starting his career with the bags of Larry Mize, Scott Simpson and Curtis Strange.

Steve Williams with Tiger Woods at Bay Hill in Orlando in 2011 (Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports)

Major wins: 14

The New Zealander landed the loop of a lifetime in 1999, picking up Tiger Woods’ bag and carrying it for 13 major titles around the world. He and Woods split in 2011, and Williams landed on Adam Scott’s bag and would guide the Australian to the 2013 Masters title. Williams became a caddy at age 10, and the players he carried for over the years included Peter Thomson, Greg Norman and Raymond Floyd, as reported in his bio for the Caddy Hall of Fame.


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