Joe LaCava dishes on Tiger’s potential schedule and tells a whopper of a story of caddying for the GOAT

Tiger Woods made it pretty clear last week at the 150th British Open that he won’t be playing anytime soon.

“Maybe something next year. I don’t know. But nothing in the near future,” he said after he missed the cut on Friday. “This is it. I was just hoping to play this one event this year.”

But Tiger’s caddie Joe LaCava, who has been on the bag for more than a decade now, said he’s not counting Tiger out for the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas or some hit-n-giggle father-son time at the PNC Championship with Charlie in Orlando. Both of those events are scheduled for December.

“I’m hoping that he will play maybe in December at the Hero and the father-son, and then maybe the Genesis [Invitational]… I’m hoping three, maybe four tournaments before The Masters,” said LaCava, who appeared on the Dan Patrick Show on Thursday. “I won’t do much, I’ll do the same thing. I’ll say ‘Tiger, hey listen, if you’re starting to feel better in October or November, maybe I’ll come down for a couple of weeks [to Florida], we’ll hang out, don’t have to play every day, we don’t have to practice every day, I’ll be there and maybe give you a bit of motivation, we’ll do some playing practice here and there and get ready for the Hero and get ready for the following year of ’23 and get him ready in any respect that he needs.”

Where might Tiger play next year ahead of the Masters? If the body is willing, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him play at the Genesis Invitational tournament on the PGA Tour in the second week of February, a tournament at which he serves as the host and his Tiger Woods Foundation is the main charitable beneficiary. The Players Championship, a tournament that Tiger’s won twice could also be a good proving ground to remove the rust before the Masters in April.

Coming back from a horrific single-car accident in February 2021, Woods played in three of the four majors this season, finishing 47th at The Masters, withdrawing from the PGA Championship ahead of the final round, and missing the cut at St. Andrews.

LaCava also shared a hilarious story about how he likes to lug the bag on his right shoulder and the time he switched to a double-strap golf bag.

“I don’t think I could carry the bag from here to my front door left-handed,” he said.

LaCava and Jim “Bones” MacKay, longtime looper for Phil Mickelson who is now having success with Justin Thomas, was one of the first to use the double-strap bag and for several years he tried to convince LaCava to make the switch with no success.

“I just wouldn’t do it,” LaCava said. “It just felt funky to me, the whole nine yards.”

By the time LaCava started working with Tiger, he was getting older and the doube-strap bag became more appealing. Still, he wouldn’t budge. Finally, at the 2018 BMW Championship at Aronomink Golf Club near Philadelphia, Tiger took matters into his own hand. He showed up at the third leg of the playoffs with a double strap and hooked it up to his bag himself.

“Oh, man, now I have to give it a go,” LaCava recalled.

LaCava was dropping his towel and worried about a club falling out of the bag as he tested out the double strap during a practice round alongside Rory McIlroy. On Thursday, Tiger shot 62 and never missed a shot. LaCava’s phone blew up. He scrolled down to a text from his son, who hadn’t been in touch since being dropped off at James Madison University a month earlier. Joe Jr.’s message was classic: “All I get is double-strap and a question mark and it said, ‘Soft.’ ”