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How Nelly Korda and Tiger’s former caddie, Joe LaCava, linked for the Founders Cup


CLIFTON N.J. — Tiger Woods’ former caddie, Joe LaCava, made headlines last week when it was announced that he was leaving the Big Cat’s bag to loop for Patrick Cantlay full-time.

LaCava was back in the news cycle again this week, when he was seen caddying at the Founders Cup in New Jersey for world No. 1 Nelly Korda, with Cantlay taking a week off before the PGA Championship.

So how did this pairing happen?

“My agent, Chris Mullhaupt, is good friends with Tiger’s manager and I got connected that way,” Korda said after an even-par first round. “Through that, I got Tiger’s blessing, and this was a couple months ago, and now I have Joe on the bag for the rest of this week, which is a huge honor, obviously.

Full scoring from the Cognizant Founders Cup

“I thought since my caddie (Jason McDede) was out (on paternity leave) for this week, I could learn something from one of the greatest caddies and I’m just grateful that he said yes.”

Though it’s only been one round, what has Korda learned?

“He’s very diligent when it comes to just green reading, numbers, talking through everything,” Korda said. "(McDede) does a really good job, it’s not that I’m trying to compare the two. I’ve had so much success with Jason, but sports, you’re always trying to get better, and Joe is one of the greatest caddies that’s ever caddied in the game. If I can learn one or two things from him and take it on to my future, I’ll be extremely grateful for that.”

Two weeks ago, after the second round of the JM Eagle LA Championship, Jessica Korda’s caddie, Kyle Morrison, had to jump on Nelly’s bag in an emergency situation, as McDede welcomed his first child, Benton, on Saturday, April 29. Morrison then looped for Nelly at last week’s International Crown.

LaCava, meanwhile, has had his hands full this year, even without Woods playing full-time. The Connecticut native has worked for Woods at the Genesis Invitational and Masters, Steve Stricker at the Zurich Classic in April and Cantlay at last week’s Wells Fargo Championship.

Though he has a jam-packed schedule coming up with Cantlay, LaCava is enjoying his week with Korda, especially at a course just six miles from where his beloved football team plays.

"(The first round) was fun,” he said. “A lot of Giants fans, so I’m always comfortable around them. Old school kind of golf course in Jersey, so I like that.”