WASHINGTON (AFP) – As Tiger Woods recovers from another surgery, caddie Joe LaCava is joining forces with world number four Patrick Cantlay, starting at this week’s PGA Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow.
LaCava has caddied for Woods since 2011, and was on the bag when Woods won his 15th major championship at the Masters in 2019. It wasn’t immediately clear if his decision to accept a full-time job with Cantlay was an indication that Woods won’t return in 2023, after announcing last month he had surgery to address pain in his damaged right leg. “When I reached out to Joe, he said it was possible and it ended up working out and I’m really happy about it,” Cantlay said on Wednesday at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, North Carolina, United States.
Cantlay said he’d hear great things about LaCava from Fred Couples, but hadn’t spoken to Woods about the change. However, Woods’s good friend Justin Thomas said he was sure LaCava wouldn’t have made the move without the superstar’s approval.
“I don’t know the details and don’t know how long it is or what’s going on, but I know that that’s something that would never ever, ever be done if Tiger would not okay that,” Thomas said this week. LaCava stuck with Woods after the February 2021 car crash that left him with severe lower leg injuries that, Woods said, will limit him to a handful of tournaments a year at best for the rest of his career.
He has caddied for Couples and Steve Stricker on the Champions Tour this year, but told the PGA Tour website he wanted more.