Woods turns to veteran caddie ahead of PGA Tour return at Riviera

Mark McGowan
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Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods at the 2023 Genesis Invitational (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Mark McGowan

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Tiger Woods returns to PGA Tour action this week at the Genesis Invitational where he will double job as the tournament host, but with former caddie Joe LaCava now on the bag for Patrick Cantlay, exactly who’d be looping for Woods remained a mystery until earlier this week.

In a Golfweek article written by Adam Schupak, it is revealed that veteran caddie Lance Bennett has been chosen by Woods for the duty at Riviera. Bennett has previously caddied for Matt Kuchar, and is a man that Woods is very familiar with having partnered Kuchar with Bennett alongside during the 2013 Presidents Cup where they won three of their four paired matches.

Bennett is currently working for PGA Tour rookie Adrien Dumont de Chassart who graduated from the Korn Ferry Tour last year as KFT Player of the Year but hasn’t made the field for the Genesis Invitational. He’s also caddied for Sungjae Im and Davis Riley in recent years and he’s also done stints on the LPGA with Juli Inkster, Paula Creamer and Lorena Ochoa.

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Suggestions that Charlie Woods and father may have a role reversal with son carrying father’s bag could yet come to fruition with Tiger refusing to shoot down any possibility, but it won’t be this week.

Belgian Dumont de Chassart is not currently exempt into the Masters and may not be exempt into the Players Championship either, meaning that were Woods to be in need of a caddie on either of those weeks, there is a strong possibility that Bennett may again be available.

Last year, Woods, as tournament host, opted to play with Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas on days one and two at the Genesis Invitational and not having LaCava on his bag makes it more likely that we may see repeat pairings this year, even though McIlroy chose to bury the hatchet with the veteran caddie after their heated altercation at the Ryder Cup in Rome last September.

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