Tiger Woods has his third full-time caddie in Joe LaCava, and the idea was to break him in slowly. Woods said he told LaCava at the Frys.com Open that he wouldn’t ask him questions on club selection or reading putts. LaCava, who spent two decades working for Fred Couples, was to spend a week observing how Woods played.
It wasn’t long before Woods made an observation of his own.
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For thr first time since 2003, the PGA Tour money title will be decided in the season finale at Disney World.
“When it rained on Thursday, we had four towels in the bag,” Woods said. “I’ve never seen four towels in my golf bag. Well, Freddie doesn’t use gloves, so out of habit, he just had all these towels in the bag. I was like, ‘What the hell are you doing with all these towels?’ So I said, ‘We don’t need that many towels.”’
Woods has three more tournaments this year, and said LaCava will play more of a role each week.
ONE LAST TRY: David Duval was on the practice range at Sea Island late last Wednesday when he said, “Last tournament of the year.” He is playing in Malaysia at the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic next week.
Friday morning, before his second round, he entered the season finale at Disney World. Duval went on to miss the cut at Sea Island, falling to No. 152 on the PGA Tour money list.
Why change his mind?
“I thought I’ve just played too well for most of the year and there’s no reason to be in the position I’m in,” Duval said. “The only thing that will help me at Disney is winning the tournament. You can’t do that unless you’re trying, unless you’re there.”
CASEY FUTURE: A year after he finished a career-high eighth on the PGA Tour money list with over $3.6 million, Paul Casey failed to keep his PGA Tour card. He withdrew after two rounds of the McGladrey Classic with an illness and wound up No. 131 on the money list.
Casey was slowed much of the year with an injury to his right foot, which made it painful to shift his weight in his swing. He won the Volvo Champions in Bahrain early in the year, and after missing the FedExCup playoffs, won in Korea.
Losing his card shouldn’t hurt too much. Casey is still No. 22 in the world, meaning he should be in good shape for the four majors, the World Golf Championships and The Players Championship. He’ll get in some events on conditional status (No. 126-150 on the money list) and should have no trouble picking up exemptions as a former Ryder Cup player with such a high world ranking.
“The most important thing is to get that fixed,” he said, nodding to his foot, “and get back to playing the golf I know I’m capable of playing. It’s been such a strange season.”
DIVOTS: If anyone other than Luke Donald wins at Disney, then Webb Simpson will be the PGA of America Player of the Year Award winner. … The Tiger Woods Invitational last week at Pebble Beach raised more than $700,000 for his foundation’s college-access programs, including the Earl Woods Scholarship program named after his late father. … The Champions Tour is moving its season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship in 2012 from Harding Park in San Francisco to the Desert Mountain Club in Scottsdale, Ariz. … The Nationwide Tour is adding another event in South America, The Chile Classic will be played March 8-11 at Prince of Wales Country Club in Santiago. … Bud Cauley played most of his golf in Jacksonville at Windsor Park, a public course. As a PGA Tour member, he will have access to the TPC network, including the TPC Sawgrass. Cauley said he already has been sneaking onto the back of the range at Sawgrass.
STAT OF THE WEEK: The last player to lose his lead atop the PGA Tour money list in the final tournament of the year was Phil Mickelson in 1996, when Tom Lehman won the Tour Championship to move past him.
FINAL WORD: “You can shoot your lowest score ever and still feel as though you could have done better.” -- Robert Allenby, on why golf is so appealing.