As Tiger Woods has been on the sidelines for much of the past two years, one has to wonder: Why has Joe LaCava sat idly by with him?
Don’t get us wrong, this is a 14-time major champion the looper is hanging with. But LaCava, who’s been on Woods’ bag since late 2011, is a renowned caddie who previously toted the bag for Dustin Johnson, Fred Couples, Davis Love III and Justin Leonard.
He would have good offers for other caddie gigs if he asked, and LaCava said last year that he in fact did get requests from players for a part-time caddie job while Woods was out.
His boss has also made it clear that LaCava was allowed to caddie for other players while he was out of action. But LaCava has apparently never contemplated leaving Woods, even temporarily.
The subject of LaCava came up in Woods’ podcast interview with Geno Auriemma, the legendary head coach of UConn women’s basketball. (The program is called “Holding Court with Geno Auriemma.”)
The coach is tight with LaCava and was frank with Woods in that he’d asked the looper himself why he didn’t go out for other gigs – especially with Woods being sidelined with injuries for several months again in 2017.
But as Woods explained, LaCava is incredibly loyal, never going for the possibility even when his boss wanted to help him get a new job.
“We had a nice long talk beginning of this year when I couldn’t play, and I told him, ‘Hey, if you want, I can go out and get you a bag. Get one of these top young upcoming guys and you can go out and caddie for them,’ ” Woods told Auriemma.
The golfer noted that he told LaCava the idea would be for him to do that and enjoy it and hopefully Woods could get him back when he was ready to play again.
LaCava never budged.
“He says, ‘No no, I’m committed to you. I’m committed to your return and you playing golf again,'” Woods said. “And I said, ‘Well I understand that, but I don’t know when that is or if that’s even going to happen, so let me help you get another bag.’ But he just keeps saying no.”
Talk about standing by your guy. Woods is optimistic about his health and he is returning to competitive golf in less than a month.
Maybe LaCava’s fierce loyalty will really start paying dividends in the near future.