Joe LaCava has been on Tiger Woods’s bag since 2011. That means he’s seen plenty of his boss’s success — but plenty of pain, too.
“Joey has been a part of all my back procedures,” Woods says in the ESPN documentary Return of the Roar, which premiers Sunday. “He’s seen all the bad stuff that’s gone on and how much pain it has caused me and how much it has hurt.”
Woods on the sidelines meant for several years, LaCava had a light schedule. He caddied just 19 times over a four-year span. During Woods’s down times, LaCava would go visit Woods at his Florida home for support.
“He had no quality of life. Couldn’t hang out with his kids, kick the soccer ball around, stuff like that,” LaCava said. “That hurt me inside. I came down to Florida and hung out with him — sometimes he didn’t even practice, just to hang out and have a friend, sitting there and going through the pain with him.”
Woods told LaCava that he was free to find another bag. “He basically said to me, look, if you wanna go find another guy to work for, I’m okay with that,” LaCava said. But, in one of the documentary’s most poignant moments, he explained that the decision to wait was obvious.
“If I could live another hundred years, I’d wait another hundred years,” he said. “I was never not going to work for Tiger as long as he was going to have me. I just wanted to work for him and no one else. And I think that helped a little bit, knowing that he had a friend that thought that much of him, as a person and with his game.”
You can read GOLF’s complete review of Return of the Roar here.
“Return of the Roar” airs Sunday at 9 p.m. EST on ESPN. After its debut, it will be available for viewing via ESPN Video on Demand on ESPN.com and the ESPN app.