|Joe LaCava is Tiger’s new bag man.|
Why? That’s easy. “Because he’s Tiger Woods,” LaCava said. “Enough said.”
Woods finished T30 at the Frys.com Open, posting 73-68-68-68—277.
But, as Karen Crouse of the New York Times reported, not all loopers share LaCava’s perspective. Money and future potential matter.
LaCava’s decision to leave Johnson for Woods surprised some caddies, who are like horsemen when it comes to picking their rides. They place great weight on recent performances, which makes sense since, in addition to a base salary for the week—roughly $1,500, a large chunk of which goes toward travel and lodging expenses—they also receive a percentage of their boss’s earnings: 6 percent for a made cut, 8 percent for a top-10 finish and 10 percent for a victory.Caddies come and go. Sometimes they fire players, as PGA Tour veteran Paul Goydos noted, but mostly players dismiss caddies. It’s a constant. And it can happen in a variety of ways. Tour caddie Erik Bergerud once lost his job via email.
Ricci Roberts, who caddies for Ernie Els, might be counted as one of the bag men who raised an eyebrow when LaCava abandoned Johnson. Roberts called Johnson an “ATM machine.”
Roberts has lost track of the number of times he has been hired and fired by Els. Five or six, he decided. “It’s like a bad marriage.”
“I’m glad he keeps coming back,” Els said. “I don’t know how many times I can keep doing it to him.”
LaCava should fare better with Woods. Both men are accustomed to long-term player-caddie relationships. But there are no guarantees. Just ask Steve Williams.
−The Armchair Golfer