The golf world has been surprised to learn that Patrick Cantlay has hired Joe LaCava, Tiger Woods’ hitherto caddie, with whom he has worked since 2011. The collaboration between Cantlay and LaCava will begin this weekend at the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte.
From the Quail Hollow Club, home of the tournament, this Wednesday, Patrick Cantlay answered questions on this subject from the well-known journalist Dan Rappaport:
“I’ve heard a number of great things about Joe, and when I reached out to him, he said it was possible and ended up working out and I’m really happy about it,” Cantlay said.
As for calling Tiger Woods after hiring LaCava, the golfer didn’t say much:
“I haven’t spoken to Tiger,” were his only words.
Patrick Cantlay was also asked about his previous caddie, Matt “Rev” Minister:
“I’m incredibly grateful to him, I just needed a change,” Cantlay said.
Meanwhile, Tiger Woods’ agent, Mark Steinberg, was also asked about this topic on Twesday. Here’s what he said to ESPN:
“Joe called Tiger to ask him and get his approval. Of course, Tiger gave it. Tiger and Joe are like brothers, tremendous friends. You shouldn’t read anything more in to that other than Joe wants to caddie. He loves it. It’s his passion. He’s great at it and one of the best.”
“Tiger said repeatedly he’s going to play a very limited schedule around the majors, his events, the father-son, assuming that everything goes well in the rehab and recovery. Joe wants to work, and so I think Tiger got that. We’re just moving on.” Steinberg added.
Joe LaCava: From Tiger Woods to Patrick Cantlay
LaCava’s decision to accept a new job with Patrick Cantlay comes after Tiger Woods underwent ankle surgery following the Masters, adding to the serious injuries he suffered in a car accident in February 2021 and the numerous surgeries he has had throughout his career.
Woods has not specified when he will return to the competition, but it is presumed that he will miss this month’s PGA Championship, most likely June’s US Open and July’s Open Championship and possibly the rest of the PGA Tour season.
Against this backdrop, LaCava has opted to look for a new player to work with, and has chosen Patrick Cantlay, one of the best golfers in the world today. Cantlay is ranked fourth in the world and has won eight times on the PGA Tour.
LaCava had worked with Patrick Cantlay once before at the 2021 Northern Trust, but had never taken a full-time job with another player since joining Woods. Prior to Tiger, he had caddied for Fred Couples for 22 years.
The relationship between Woods and LaCava has always been close and professional. Together, they have 11 victories, including a five-win season in 2013 and the historic 2019 Masters, the only major Woods has won with LaCava.