Smooth transition for Johnson, LaCava


DUBLIN, Ohio – On Wednesday Fred Couples figured that Joe LaCava, his caddie for 21 calendars, would need some time to learn the game of Dustin Johnson, his new boss.

If Thursday’s opening 68 is any indication it promises to be an abbreviated learning curve. “He's got it dialed in already. Especially with good guys, it doesn't take very long to club people,” Johnson said.

Nor does the transition seem to be coming at a measured pace, which would be understandable in any new player-caddie relationship.

“Four or five times at The Players I gave him another club. Good, bad or indifferent I’m not going to keep quiet if I don’t like the club,” LaCava said. “But it is different (caddying for Johnson). Today at (No.) 18 he hit 9-iron from 164 (yards). Freddie’s like, ‘Are you kidding me?’”

Having Couples in Thursday’s threesome may have been the biggest challenge for LaCava. After 21 years no one knows his game better and he didn’t want to accidentally offer him any advice.

“It’s illegal,” LaCava smiled. “I stayed away from him just for that reason.”