LaCava makes permanent move to Patrick Cantlay’s bag

John Craven

Patrick Cantlay consults with Joe LaCava at the Northern Trust Open in 2021 (Photo by Tracy Wilcox/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

After twelve years by Tiger Woods’ side, experienced looper Joe LaCava is taking up a new role alongside world number 4 Patrick Cantlay.

Cantlay, who parted ways with long-time caddie Matt Minister after the Zurich Classic, has previously enjoyed LaCava’s company as a stand-in but the move now looks to be a permanent one, and it’s been fully endorsed by 15-time Major winner Woods.

“Tiger’s not going to play much going forward,” LaCava told


“Obviously he’s not retiring. But he’s going to play two to six tournaments a year.

“Tiger and I have talked about if something were to come up – ‘Feel free to do something. I know how much you miss it, how much you love caddying.’ And when this opportunity arose, I checked with Tiger. And he said ‘you’re crazy not to take the job, go forward, go win some tournaments, go have a great time’.”

With no timeline set on Woods’ recovery following successful surgery on his foot and ankle, it’s unclear who’ll take the GOAT’s bag upon his competitive return. LaCava has no doubt, however, that his former employer will do just fine without him.

“I’m saying this kiddingly, if (Woods) could physically carry his own bag, he could win,” he said.

“I think he’s fine without me. We’ll miss each other with the friendship and not seeing each other as we normally would.”

That’s not to say the friendship will now end. LaCava hopes to continue his relationship with Woods after admitting it was a very difficult phone call that brought their working time together to an end.

“It was a very tough phone call,” he said. “We’re still very tight. It wasn’t like it ended where he’s healthy and going to play a full schedule. It’s a different set of circumstances. It was still a tough call.

“But like Fred (Couples) 10 or 12 years ago, I’d like to think we’re still going to be good friends, text back and forth, whatever.”

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