Genesis Invitational

Riviera Country Club

Tour Tales

Joe LaCava shares funny story about the first time he and Tiger Woods 'clicked' on the golf course

January 17, 2024

Keyur Khamar

It will take golf fans some time getting used to seeing Tiger Woods wearing something other than Nike apparel when he next plays, but they're also still adjusting to the 15-time major champ not having Joe LaCava on the bag.

After a decade of wins and laughs, the two parted ways last year so that LaCava could caddie on a more full-time basis for Patrick Cantlay. Woods and LaCava remain good friends, however, and the looper discussed that and more with former caddie John Rathouz on the Quiet Please podcast.

LaCava says that the two things that struck him most when he went to work for Woods over a dozen years ago is how "low maintenance" he was and that he never once blamed Joe for a bad club or a misread on the green.You should check out the entire interview, but we especially enjoyed Joe telling a funny tale about the first time he and Tiger "clicked" on the golf course.

It happened in their first event working together, the 2011 Open, less than two months after Woods split with Steve Williams. Apparently Woods hadn't asked Joe for much until they got to a par 3 on the back nine when Woods asked about yardage to a pin on a two-tiered green. We'll let LaCava take it from here:

"He hadn't really asked me anything all day so he kind of caught me off guard, although I think I was ready," LaCava recalls. "He said to me, 'Can I get 7-iron there?' And said, 'You can get it on top, but you can't get it to the hole.' And so he hits this beautiful little tight draw, 10 feet right of the hole pin high, beautiful shot. And he just kinda gave me a look without saying anything as if to say, Don't ever tell me I can't do something. You know, I got that look and I thought it was great."

Good stuff, but the story gets even better.

"About four minutes later we walk up to the green and the ball is barely short of pin high, so I look at him and I say, 'Well, it's not pin high.' And he smiled at me. . . . It was one of those things, right away we clicked. And we knew were going to get along very well and give each other a hard time, which we still do to this day."

And thus, a great golf duo was born. Good for LaCava giving it back to Tiger like that from Day 1. You can watch LaCava tell the story below, beginning at the 25:55 mark: