Blog Entry

Caddie swap doesn't throw D.J., Couples for loop

Posted on: June 2, 2011 7:00 pm

DUBLIN, Ohio -- To shamelessly swipe a rather famous song lyric: Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

In an interesting subplot during the first two days of the Memorial Tournament, Fred Couples and Dustin Johnson were placed in the same group, just weeks after Couples' longtime caddie went to work for the latter, younger star.

Veteran looper Joe LaCava has teamed with Couples for two decades, and when Johnson parted ways with his old caddie, Bobby Brown, LaCava was given the job at the Players Championship. Johnson said there was no tension in the first round Thursday -- quite the contrary.

Not that he or Couples are the high-strung dramatic type, anyway.

"It was fine," said Johnson, who shot 68 and is tied for fifth. "Freddie is a great guy. There's no hard feelings there. You know, we talked about it the other day.  But everything is good, and I'm happy to have Joe working on the bag for me. I'm looking forward to having a few good weeks here coming up."

Couples has been playing sporadically of late on the senior tour because of injuries, and Johnson certainly presents more earnings potential.

"There's no bad blood or anything like that," Johnson said. "They were together for 21 years and are really close friends. Yeah, it was nice. We had a great time out there today."

Johnson, who used a couple of short-term stand-in caddies until hiring LaCava, gave his version on hos the pairing came to be.

"Well, obviously I was looking for a caddie, and Freddie was -- he's hurt, he's struggling with his back right now, so Joe came and caddied for me at the Players and he wanted a full time job, so I said yeah," Johnson said.

After years of working for a power player like Couples, it didn't take long for LaCava to grasp the nuances of Johnson's power game, apparently.

"He's got it dialed in already," Johnson said. "I don't think it, especially with good guys, it doesn't take very long to 'club' people."


Since: Oct 20, 2008
Posted on: June 3, 2011 4:10 pm

Caddie swap doesn't throw D.J., Couples for loop

First of all I love Pete Dye Courses.  I count Harbor Towne and Bulle Rock as two of the very best layouts I have ever played.  that being said, the bunkering at Whistling straights is unnatural and 90% of the bunkers don't ever come into play.  The bunkering to the right of 18 is basically there for asthetics.  I have never seen a "bunker' that was unmaintained, or that the gallery was allowed to walk in.  I have seen sandy areas off the fairway that are unkept where galleries are allowed to tread.  They are called "waste areas".   OK so the local rule stated that they would be played as bunkers, and not to ground the club.  Even if you want to call the area adjacent to where DJ's ball came to rest a "bunker", fine.  His ball was not even in the confines of that depression that was designed and intended to be a "bunker".  It was in sand that had been kicked OUT of the bunker.  Just because you have a sandy lie, doesn;t mean that you are in the confines of a bunker or a hazard.  The texture of the lie is irrelevent.  The rules state that the ball has to be with in the shape or depression that was initially designed to be a bunker or a hazzard.  Justin's ball was outside of what the architect intended to be a "bunker".  The ruling was a travesty.  

Since: Feb 3, 2007
Posted on: June 3, 2011 11:09 am

Caddie swap doesn't throw D.J., Couples for loop

Should work out great since Johnson and Couples have the same demeanor on the course.

Since: May 6, 2009
Posted on: June 3, 2011 10:35 am

Caddie swap doesn't throw D.J., Couples for loop

Good for Dustin, A caddy with "Major" winning experience can only help - This really can be his year.. I laugh wondering if LaCava knows the difference between a waste bunker and the real thing?

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