Lynne Sladky/Associated Press
Tiger Woods‘ caddie Joe LaCava tried to convince a heckler to leave the 2018 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in early August by paying for his $25 ticket from his own wallet before ultimately getting the fan ejected from the tournament.
LaCava detailed the encounter during an appearance Wednesday on ESPN Radio’s Golic and Wingo show, noting he received a positive response after the individual was removed by security.
“He didn’t have a problem,” the veteran caddie said. “And actually, I got a standing ovation for kicking the guy out of there.”
The size and intensity of the crowds that follow Woods during a round are unmatched elsewhere on the PGA Tour, and his fellow golfers often comment on the impact of potential distractions.
“I swear, playing in front of all that, he gives up half a shot a day on the field,” Rory McIlroy told reporters in February. “Like it’s two shots a tournament he has to give to the field because of all that that goes on around him.”
It’s not surprising to hear about a heckler within those large throngs of fans, and LaCava’s story showcases the behind-the-scenes work the caddie, who’s been with Woods since 2011 and previously worked with Fred Couples and Dustin Johnson, among others, does to keep things as calm as possible.
Tiger finished 31st in the Bridgestone Invitational, his worst result in an otherwise promising stretch that also included fourth place in the Quicken Loans National, sixth place in the Open Championship and second place in the PGA Championship.
He’ll return to action next week for the start of the 2018 FedEx Cup Playoffs at The Northern Trust, which could be the start of four tournaments in five weeks should he qualify all the way through the Tour Championship in late September.
The crowds figure to remain boisterous every step of the way, so LaCava better make sure he stops at the ATM before hitting the course just in case he needs to negotiate with more agitators.