Carmel Magazine

Spring-Summer 2019

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Page 143 of 267

In victory at Augusta, he said, "I hope they are proud of their dad. I think the kids are starting to understand how much this game means to me, and some of the things I've done in the game; prior to comeback, they only knew that golf caused me a lot of pain. If I tried to swing a club I would be on the ground and I struggled for years, and that's basically all they remember." In Woods' orbit, only one other person enjoys such familial loyalty: caddie Joe LaCava. He gave up the bag of Dustin Johnson, a prolific winner who has spent a lot of time lately atop the world ranking, to join forces with Woods in 2011, when his game and life were still in sham- bles. Late last year, LaCava reflected on all the months he sat on the sidelines while his boss was recovering from his various surgeries. "If I could live another hundred years, I'd wait another hundred years," he recalled thinking. "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." In the delirious moments after the final putt dropped at Augusta, Woods kept shouting at LaCava, "We did it!" It was a surprisingly inclusive sentiment from a player who used to radiate a lone-wolf vibe. This didn't escape the notice of a number of observers, including Eric Wood, for- 142 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • S P R I N G / S U M M E R 2 0 1 9 Tiger Woods' biggest influence was his father, Earl, a former Green Beret. Woods hopes to make his own children proud. Photo: PCN Photography /Alamy Stock Photo

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