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Johnson fine with caddie's Tiger job

KINGSBARNS, Scotland — Dustin Johnson doesn't begrudge Tiger Woods for hiring his caddie, saying such decisions are part of the business.

Joe LaCava left Johnson on Sunday to become Woods' third full-time caddie.

"I spoke to Tiger about it. There's no hard feelings at all," Johnson said Thursday after shooting 1-under 71 in the first round of the European tour's Dunhill Links Championship. "We had a great conversation. He just did what he did."

LaCava was the longtime caddie for Fred Couples but joined Johnson this summer. Johnson won the Barclays last month with LaCava on the bag.

"I liked Joe. I still do. But you've got to make decisions, and you can't get mad at him for the decisions he made," Johnson said. "He got offered a job, so he took it.

Johnson will have Keith Sbarbaro, vice president of his club-maker, TaylorMade, on his bag for the rest of the year. Sbarbaro has caddied for Johnson in tournaments in South Korea and Germany this year. "He's a real good buddy of mine," Johnson said.

In the tournament, 2010 British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen had a share of the lead with 6-under 66, joining Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Markus Brier and Michael Hoey.

The tournament ends Sunday at St. Andrews, the scene of Oosthuizen's seven-shot British Open win.

Graeme McDowell, the 2010 U.S. Open champion, was one of six players a stroke behind.

Each member of the 178-man field plays all three par-72 courses over the first three days of the pro-am. Kingsbarns hosted the high-profile contenders and had most of the low scoring Thursday.

Second-ranked Lee Westwood, Colin Montgomerie, Padraig Harrington and former amateur star Tom Lewis were among the 11 players at 4 under. Donald is aiming for his fifth victory this year.

PGA: Jhonattan Vegas and William McGirt shot career-best 8-under 63s to share the first-round lead in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas. Vegas, a rookie who won the Bob Hope Classic in January for his first tour title, had 10 birdies and two bogeys at TPC Summerlin. McGirt, also a rookie, had eight birdies in a bogey-free round. Nathan Green and Charlie Wi were a stroke back. Nick Watney, a two-time winner this year, was in a group of 11 two strokes back at 65. Tampa resident Ryuji Imada shot 68.

Johnson fine with caddie's Tiger job 09/29/11 [Last modified: Thursday, September 29, 2011 10:27pm]
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