Woods denies poaching LaCava

 

Tiger Woods yesterday issued a statement which answered the criticisms of his former coach, Butch Harmon, who said he was "disappointed" with the manner in which the 14-time major winner hired his new caddie.

Joe LaCava told Dustin Johnson he was leaving him to work for Woods after the final round of the Tour Championship on Sunday. Johnson immediately informed Harmon, his coach, who then broke the news in his role as Sky Sports analyst. Harmon was plainly upset.

"The thing that bothered me the most was TW not calling Dustin and asking if he could talk to Joe," said Harmon, under whom Woods won his first eight majors. "That's the way it's done. I'm a little disappointed with the way Tiger handled it. But I'm not surprised."

On his website, Woods sought to put the record straight. "Mark [Steinberg, his agent] and I were approached by a lot of people, including Joe, who expressed an interest in becoming my caddie," Woods said. "Out of deference for the FedExCup Playoffs, I decided to wait until they were concluding to have substantive talks. We then spoke to Joe and came to an agreement."

LaCava confirmed he had instigated the appointment. "I contacted Tiger... because this is a unique opportunity to be part of something very special," he said. "Tiger and I have been friends for a very long time, and I know what he can do."

Woods's website went on to reveal he had called Johnson straight after LaCava had told Johnson. Woods then spoke to Fred Couples, his close friend for whom La Cava caddied for two decades. Concern was raised in the American media how this would affect team morale at the Presidents Cup in November. Woods and Johnson will be team-mates on the American team which is captained by Couples. Harmon, however, does not foresee a problem at Royal Melbourne. "Dustin's not the type to hold a grudge," he said.

Since Woods sacked Steve Williams, his caddie of 13 years, in July, the rumour mill has been at full speed over his replacement. With Woods ranked 45 places below Johnson, the world No 5, Harmon expressed his "shock" at LaCava's decision. "He has the right to go and work for anyone he wants," said Harmon, who fixed up LaCava with Johnson. "It's just that Dustin Johnson is a young kid and he's an ATM machine to work for, the way he makes a lot of money. Tiger Woods is Tiger Woods, and I understand that, but it is a little bit surprising. None of us saw this coming."

Yesterday Johnson was on his way to St Andrews for this week's Dunhill Links event (a friend was always going to carry his bag in Scotland), while Woods was preparing for next week's Frys.com Open in San Jose. This will be Woods's first event since he missed the cut at last month's USPGA Championship.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy