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LaCava on Villegas' bag at Bethpage

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Camilo Villegas, who has emerged as one of the top players in golf, found himself without a regular caddie after his looper decided to leave him to work part-time for Sergio Garcia.

Just don't get the idea he will be at a disadvantage at the U.S. Open.

Villegas played in a charity event the Monday after The Players Championship with Fred Couples, who will not be at Bethpage and thus offered the services of his caddie -- Joe LaCava, one of the best in the business.

LaCava also works with Davis Love III and walked 36 holes at a U.S. Open qualifier Monday. Now he gets two straight weeks, the St. Jude Classic and U.S. Open, with the 27-year-old Colombian. Why not just take a week off?

"Let me ask you a question," LaCava replied. "Would you want a week off when you could work for this kid?"

Villegas closed out last year with victories in the BMW Championship and Tour Championship, earned $4.4 million and picked up a $3 million bonus for finishing second in the FedEx Cup.

That begs another question -- why would anyone want out of a bag that lucrative?

Villegas said Gary Matthews, a steady voice during his success last year, is about to start a family and wanted to work less. Garcia has been employing two caddies the past couple of years, and half the job opened up when Billy Foster departed.

"When you split with your caddie, you can look at it positively or negatively," Villegas said. "I'm looking at it positively. This is a chance for me to try different guys."

His brother, Manny, who is trying to qualify for Nationwide Tour events, caddied for him at the Memorial. Villegas said he is getting "a lot of phone calls" from caddies offering to take the job, which should come as no surprise. He did not say whom he might use the rest of the year, but does not seem to be in a big hurry.

"I believe I treat caddies well, and we get along great," Villegas said. "If I play well, they make a lot of money. It's all good."

Strangely enough, Matthews worked the last two weeks for Michelle Wie, who needed a temporary caddie. Villegas said that was facilitated by Clarke Jones, the agent at IMG for Garcia, Villegas and Wie.