Caddying for Tiger Woods is often a thankless job, but Woods’ current caddie, Joe LaCava is having to deal with a whole new generation of golf fans — and Tiger haters — during his man’s most recent comeback.
During an appearance on ESPN Radio’s “Golic and Wingo,” Woods’ caddie detailed a run-in with a heckler earlier this month at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio in which LaCava personally paid a guy $25 to leave Woods alone before having to get him escorted off the grounds by police.
“I had a little incident with a guy who was harassing (Tiger) on the 14th hole on the last day outside the ropes, roughing him up pretty good,” LaCava said. “I said, ‘Hey listen bud, why do you gotta go there? Everyone is having a good time, everyone is pulling for Tiger. If you don’t like the guy, that’s one thing. But you don’t need to be yelling at my guy and screaming negative stuff like that. At the end of the day if you’re affecting his performance there, it affects my bottom line.’
“So he calls me a couple names and I go back and forth with the guy. And I said, ‘Why don’t you just leave?’” And he goes, ‘Well, if you give me $25 for the ticket that I bought today, I’ll leave.’” And I said, ‘Here you go. Here’s $25.’
“So I whip out $25 and he starts to go down the fairway to the 14th green. And I said, ‘Look, pal, 25 is 25. You got to head the other way.’”
So he starts to head the other way, goes 20 yards down the line, and he calls me a certain other swear word. So I run 20 yards back the other way. We’re going face-to-face with this guy and all of a sudden Tiger is looking for a yardage and I’m in it with this guy 20 yards down the line.”
At that point, a cop intervened and escorted the fan out of the tournament.
“(Tiger) didn’t have a problem with it,” LaCava said. “And actually, I got a standing ovation for kicking the guy out of there.”
Whether this sets a precedent for other yahoos at tournaments going forward will remain to be seen, but one thing’s for sure, if you’re coming after Tiger Woods, you’ll have to get through Joe LaCava first.