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Tiger Woods’ caddie has said that his boss will have to start playing more if he wants to contend in major championships again.

Speaking to reporters at TPC Harding Park, where Woods finished one-under-par and in a tie for 37th in the US PGA Championship, Joe LaCava assessed the 15-time major winner’s week and was in doubt as to what he needs to do to have any hope of adding to that haul.

“Some work needs to be done,” said LaCava. “He knows it. He needs to tighten up his short game a little bit, work on that at home. To me, it’s just a lack of playing tournament golf, you know what I mean? You can’t duplicate that at home.

“I understand it. He doesn’t play those events and he wasn’t going to add tournaments. He was on lockdown during the virus, so I get that. It’s not a complaint, just a fact. But I just think he needs more reps at this point.”

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After opening a two-under 68, his lowest first round at a major since the 2012 Open Championship, Woods faded from view on Friday and was barely seen again over the weekend.

It all added up to a middle of the pack finish for Woods in what was just his second competitive event since mid-February.

LaCava added: “When you’re under the gun and grinding, stuff like that, and every shot actually counts, that makes a difference to me. That said, he’s come out after long breaks and played well, so it’s not like he can’t.

“Certainly things are a little different. I don’t know what he did and didn’t do over the five months. I know he played some golf with his son and practiced some. But it’s hard to practice not knowing when you’re going to play. He did some preparing before Memorial, some preparing for here. We just need more tournament rounds.

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“It’s not like anything is horrible. I just think everything needs a little bit of work and fine-tuning. And that comes from some reps and maybe some range time at the tournament sites, and playing tournament golf.”

Woods won’t play in this week’s Wyndham Championship – the final event of this truncated PGA Tour season – and has yet to commit to The Northern Trust, the first of two FedEx Cup Playoff events for which he is currently eligible, the following week.

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Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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