ATLANTA — Tiger Woods has hired Joe LaCava to be his third full-time caddie.

ATLANTA — Tiger Woods has hired Joe LaCava to be his third full-time caddie.

Two people aware of the deal told The Associated Press on Sunday that LaCava decided to leave Dustin Johnson, one of the most talented young Americans, to go to work for the former world No. 1 who hasn't won in the last two years.

David Winkle, Johnson's agent at Hambric Sports Management, confirmed LaCava was going to work for Woods and a search for a new caddie would begin immediately.

"Needless to say, Dustin and I were completely surprised, as they have enjoyed a great relationship and have been very successful together," Winkle said. "Nonetheless, we think highly of Joe, both as a caddie and a person, which is why he was hired in the first place. We wish him nothing but the best with his new employer."

LaCava was the longtime caddie for Fred Couples, a relationship that ended in the summer because Johnson was looking for a caddie and Couples' playing schedule was being reduced because of his health.

Woods fired Steve Williams after nearly 13 years this summer after Williams worked for Adam Scott while Woods was recovering from a knee injury.