Patrick Cantlay says he did NOT speak to Tiger Woods before hiring caddie LaCava

Tiger Woods' long-time caddie Joe LaCava will now caddie full time for PGA Tour star Patrick Cantlay, starting at this week's Wells Fargo Championship.

Andy Roberts's picture
Wed, 3 May 2023
Patrick Cantlay says he did NOT speak to Tiger Woods before hiring caddie LaCava

Patrick Cantlay has admitted he did not speak to Tiger Woods before reaching out to hire his long-time caddie Joe LaCava ahead of this week's Wells Fargo Championship.

LaCava, 68, had been on the bag of Woods ever since 2011, and he was credited with helping him win several tournaments especially the 2019 Masters.

But with Woods now back on the sidelines following his latest ankle surgery, which is likely going to rule him out for the rest of the PGA Tour season, LaCava has been given a green light by Woods to move on with World No.4 Cantlay

Woods, 47, gave LaCava his blessing to "go win some tournaments and have a great time".

LaCava will now be 'permanently' on the bag of Cantlay, who has now let his own long-time caddie Matt Minister go. Minister had been on the bag of Cantlay since 2017. 

Woods went under the knife for what seemed like the umpteenth time in his career last month after another gruelling expedition at The Masters where he was forced to WD midway through a wretched third round. 

GolfMagic has already written all you need to know about his latest injury.

No return date for Woods has been given, but close friend and PGA Tour star Justin Thomas has addressed the topic with the media.

Revealed: Here's what Woods said to LaCava when taking Cantlay's bag

Cantlay was quizzed by the media about how his partnership with LaCava came to fruition ahead of this week's eighth designated event on the PGA Tour.

The American explained how Fred Couples, a close friend of Woods' who used to work with LaCava on Tour, initially helped connect him. 

Cantlay said: 

"Yeah, I've been friends with Fred Couples a long time, he's been in Newport Beach for a number of years now and we've played a lot of golf together, so I've heard a number of great things about Joe. You know, when I reached out to Joe, he said it was possible and ended up working out and I'm really happy about it."

Cantlay was then asked whether he spoke to Woods prior to hiring LaCava, to which he shook his head. 

"I haven't spoken to Tiger."

Cantlay admits he is looking forward to building a successful new relationship with LaCava on the PGA Tour.

"Yeah, he's just a steady hand on the steering wheel. I know he's been in every moment a caddie could be in and he's just a good guy. So I've enjoyed the limited time that I've spent with him and feel confident that we'll be a good team out there."

He also touched on his gratitude for his former lopper Minister, but explained how he just needed a change. 

"Yeah, we accomplished a lot together and I'm really proud of all we accomplished. He's a great friend of mine and we had a lot of good finishes together and a lot of wins. So I'm incredibly grateful to him, just needed a change."

Cantlay is an eight-time winner on the PGA Tour with his last victory coming at the 2022 BMW Championship.

Despite yet to win a major championship, Cantlay did win the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup in 2021. 

Cantlay is the second favourite (12/1) to win this week's tournament, narrowly behind three-time Wells Fargo champion Rory McIlroy (8/1). 

Jon Rahm and Scottie Scheffler decided to skip their first designated event of the season. 

That means they will not be able to bypass any more elevated events for the rest of the season, otherwise they will face a heavy financial penalty such as the one McIlroy recently suffered. 

McIlroy missed his second elevated event of the season at the RBC Heritage, as a result of mental health issues, and now has to forfeit $3m of his Player Impact Program (PIP) earnings. 

Watch: Outstanding chirp as Cantlay takes nearly 3 minutes to play shot!

Take me to more news!