Tiger Woods’ right-hand-man and caddie, Joe LaCava is hoping the great man will make a competitive return this year before getting three or four tournaments in prior to next April’s Masters.
Although no plans are in the pipeline, Woods will hope to up his tournament reps having teed up at three of the four Majors this year without a competitive start in the lead up.
Despite a lack of game-time and limping heavily on his right leg, Woods managed to make the cut at Augusta on his competitive return, finishing tied-47th before also making the cut at the PGA at Southern Hills.
The 15-time Major winner withdrew prior to the final round due to injury and was clearly not himself on a much flatter St Andrews track last week where he comfortably missed the cut at the 150th Open at the Home of Golf.
Woods assured his fans that he had no plans to retire despite his obvious physical struggles and now his caddie LaCava has issued a further positive update, tentatively laying out a possible schedule for Woods prior to Augusta next year.
“I’m hoping that he will play maybe in December at the Hero [World Challenge] and the Father-Son [PNC Championship] and maybe the Genesis [Invitational],” LaCava told the Dan Patrick Show.
“I’m still hoping he’ll play three, maybe four tournaments before The Masters.
“I won’t do much. I’ll do the same thing and say to Tiger ‘if you’re starting to feel better maybe October, November, maybe I’ll come down for a couple of weeks, we’ll hang out.
“We don’t have to play every day, we don’t have to practice every day, I’ll just be there and give you a little motivation’.
“We’ll play and practice a little bit here and there, and maybe get him ready for the Hero and get ready for 2023 and get him ready in any respect that he needs.”
Woods’ ongoing injury ailments remain obvious while any expectations for a successful comeback, particularly at the majors, seem far-fetched at best unless his body will allow him to play that bit more in order to fine-tune his game in preparation.
Never was this more evident than at St Andrews where even on a firm and fast Old Course, a place where he twice obliterated fields en route to Claret Jugs past, Woods was unable to conjure anything like his best, most notably around the greens.
“It’s one of those things where we just never got anything going the first day,” LaCava said of St Andrews. “It wasn’t like he played poorly. The putting just didn’t seem to be there and the short game wasn’t quite there.
“I think he’s working so hard to get stronger and healthier. He’s working on his long game and working on his endurance and I just think the short game has been neglected a little bit at this point and that showed over there.”
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