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    Fred {Couples}, a Gamers hole-in-three — and 1 epic Joe LaCava put-down

    Joe LaCava, left, and Fred {Couples} throughout the 2021 Senior Gamers Championship.

    Getty Photos

    Fred {Couples} doffed his visor and smiled. And Joe LaCava simply began strolling. 

    It’s possible you’ll keep in mind what had come moments earlier. Through the first spherical of the 1999 Gamers Championship, {Couples} hit his tee shot on the island-green seventeenth at TPC Sawgrass, his ball got here up brief and rinsed — and he re-teed and dunked one. A hole-in-three. An ace plus two. They’re an odd accomplishment — you possibly can’t have the great shot with out the dangerous one which preceded it— however they’re additionally a logo of restoration.  

    They occur now and again, and the newest PGA Tour instance got here two weeks in the past, throughout the second spherical of the Honda Basic. Kyle Stanley’s tee ball was moist, too, on the par-3 fifteenth at PGA Nationwide, he walked to the drop zone, and you realize the remaining. On his second swing, Stanley hit about 10 toes previous the opening, his ball spun again, and it rolled in. 

    It was memorable. And it delivered to thoughts {Couples}. And LaCava.  

    On the NBC broadcast of the Honda, on-course analyst John Wooden shared a narrative of what occurred after the shot in ’99. Highlights now solely present {Couples} tipping his visor to the followers, and LaCava — who’s now Tiger Woods’ caddie — marching forward. 

    “Hey, John Wooden, I do know you bought a bit of additional tag to that Fred {Couples} story involving Joe LaCava, Fred’s caddie,” announcer Dan Hicks mentioned.  

    “Fred’s caddie, Joe, who now caddies for Tiger, form of simply ignored Fred after he holed it out for 3,” Wooden mentioned. “And Fred kinda mentioned, Joey, what was that about? I’m anticipating some type of congratulations. 

    “And Joe says, ‘I don’t give high-fives for a par on a 9-iron par-3.’” 


    “Only a basic LaCava,” Hicks mentioned.  

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    “LaCava’s acquired a popularity for being a bit of bit harsh on the fellows now and again,” Begay mentioned. 

    There was extra. A bit of later within the broadcast, analyst Brad Faxon mentioned he had texted {Couples} for his ideas.   

    He instantly knew the story. 

    “I texted Fred {Couples} after we confirmed that replay of Freddie dunking it on 17,” Faxon mentioned on the published. “I mentioned, are you watching this? He goes, no, however I advised him the story. 

    “He goes, Joe was sizzling. He spelled ‘sizzling’ ‘h-o-t-t.’”

    Notably, {Couples} and LaCava reunited final week throughout the Cologuard Basic on the PGA Tour Champions circuit, and on the grounds, they talked extra Gamers, with the second shared Tuesday by the tour’s social media crew.  

    Particularly, LaCava remembered the speak he gave Woods forward of his 2013 victory.

    “We clearly we all know we had a lot enjoyable, Joey and I, on the Gamers with hole-in-ones and hole-in-threes, however this man has additionally had extra enjoyable after he dropped me as a caddie,” mentioned {Couples}, a two-time winner of the occasion. 

    “I don’t find out about extra enjoyable,” LaCava mentioned, “however sure, I imply, I had one other good time, one other good week with Tiger in 2013 at TPC. He performed fairly flawless, such as you did.”

    “Properly, there was an enormous hug,” {Couples} mentioned. “There was an enormous hug.” 

    “Properly, there’s a bit of backstory,” LaCava mentioned. “I received’t get loopy about it, however I mainly advised him — nicely, a pep speak. I mentioned, hear, Fred owned this golf course and he owned it for one purpose. To me, it’s a second-shot golf course — premium on iron photographs, you bought to hit it to the precise spots, numerous 6-, 7-, 8-iron, that form of factor. And you realize, Fred again in his day, was in all probability the perfect iron participant that I noticed throughout that period, and I believe Tiger’s the perfect of all time; I didn’t see the outdated guys, you realize, Lee Trevino, the entire 9 yards. 

    “And I simply type of — I didn’t change his mindset, however I acquired him considering a bit of bit, which is all that you must do with Tiger. And I believe he gave it some good thought, and he mentioned, you realize what, I believe you’re in all probability proper. I ought to do higher there. And I don’t need — once more, I don’t suppose he had a nasty angle getting in there; I believe he had just a bit little bit of a defeatist angle that occurred to alter a bit of bit. He finally ends up successful in 2013 

    “I believe that led to the massive hug, and he was simply appreciative of the truth that, you realize, he acquired his mindset in the precise spot for that place. I had nothing to do with the win — it’s all on these guys — however an angle change helped that week, I believe.”

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    Nick Piastowski

    Nick Piastowski Editor

    Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at and Golf Journal. In his function, he’s chargeable for modifying, writing and creating tales throughout the golf area. And when he’s not writing about methods to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native might be enjoying the sport, hitting the ball left, proper and brief, and ingesting a chilly beer to clean away his rating. You possibly can attain out to him about any of those subjects — his tales, his sport or his beers — at [email protected]

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