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More drama as Tiger nabs rival's caddie

Woods will have Joe LaCava – Dustin Johnson’s former caddie – carrying his bag when he returns to the Tour next month.

Joe LaCava (left) with Dustin Johnson
Joe LaCava (left) with Dustin Johnson
Image: Dave Martin/AP/Press Association Images

THE PGA TOUR is buzzing following confirmation that Tiger Woods has hired a new caddie.

Nothing groundbreaking in that of course, except that Joe LaCava was still working with Dustin Johnson over the weekend and only told the golfer of his new job in the locker room after the final FedEx Cup play-off event on Sunday.

A statement on Woods’ own website stated that Mr. LaCava approached the former number one and his agent about taking on the role vacated when Steve Williams was sacked earlier this year.

“This was an important decision, and I wanted to think about it carefully,” Woods went on. “Also, out of deference for the FedExCup Playoffs, I decided to wait until they were concluding to have substantive talks. We then spoke to Joe and came to an agreement.

“Joe is an outstanding caddie, and I have known him for many years. I’ve personally seen the great job he did for Freddie (Couples). I’m anxious for us to be working together.”

The statement added that Woods called Dustin Johnson to speak to him after LaCava informed him of his decision to leave. The departure came as a shock to the world number five and his agent David Winkle, however.

“Needless to say, Dustin and I were completely surprised, as they have enjoyed a great relationship and have been very successful together.”

Stinging comments have been attributed to Woods’ former swing coach Butch Harmon, who said he was “disappointed…. but not surprised” by the way the situation was handled. He added:

“The thing that bothered me the most was T.W. not calling Dustin and asking if he could talk to Joe. That’s the way it’s done.”

LaCava carried Johnson’s bag when the latter claimed The Barclays tournament in the US last month and was previously a long-time caddie for Fred Couples, with whom Woods discussed the appointment. Woods is due to return to the Tour at the Frys.com Open early next month.

- Additional reporting AP

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