Tiger Woods hires Joe LaCava as new caddie

Tiger Woods has hired Joe LaCava as his new caddie as a replacement for New Zealander Steve Williams.

LaCava was the long-term bagman for Fred Couples, but the pair split in the summer after the veteran decided to reduce his playing schedule.

LaCava has since been with Dustin Johnson, with whom he was working at this week's Tour Championship.

"Joe is an outstanding caddie, and I have known him for many years," said 35-year-old Woods.

Why would Joe LaCava walk out on a top five player like Dustin Johnson to caddie for Tiger Woods? The answer lies in the schedules of both golfers. LaCava, who has children aged 14 and 12 does not want excessive travel and Johnson is considering playing both PGA and European Tours. Even fully fit Woods plays a relatively limited schedule. La Cava is a good fit for the former number one. An imposing figure, he enjoyed success with Johnson winning The Barclays recently, and gained a fine reputation as the longtime bagman for Woods' friend Fred Couples.

"I've personally seen the great job he did for Freddie. I'm anxious for us to be working together."

LaCava informed Johnson - who finished tied 23rd  - of his decision after the final round of the Tour Championship on Sunday.

Woods, who has been without a caddie since severing ties with Williams in July , also spoke to Johnson and Couples to alert him of the decision.

LaCava's first tournament with Woods will be the Frys.com Open from 6-9 October.

"I'm excited to be working with Tiger," LaCava said. "Tiger and I have been friends for a very long time, and I know what he can do.

"I want to thank Dustin for the opportunity to work with him, and I wish him nothing but the best."

New Zealander Williams carried Woods's bag for 13 of his 14 major wins, after joining the former world number one in 1999.

Woods's world ranking has slipped to 50th  and he has not won a tournament since the 2009 Australian Masters.