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Tiger Woods will have a new caddie on the bag for his first start of 2024.
Woods has claimed he will play once a month competitively this year and that run starts this week at the Genesis Invitational at Riviera.
Rob McNamara, Woods’ long-time friend and business associate, looped for the 15-time major champion as he made his return at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas in December.
And it was deemed likely that McNamara may take the bag once more for Woods in Los Angeles. But instead, Woods has opted to appoint a veteran caddie for the PGA Tour’s Signature event, which starts on Thursday.
Lance Bennett, who formerly worked with Matt Kuchar, has been chosen to carry Woods’ bag.
Bennett is a well known figure on Tour having worked with Sungjae Im and Davis Riley, as well as spending time on the LPGA Tour with stars including Paula Creamer, Juli Inkster and former world no.1 Lorena Ochoa.
This season Bennett has been working with promising Belgian Adrien Dumont de Chassart, who has been tipped to make future European Ryder Cup teams.
Dumont de Chassart is not in the field at Riviera, allowing Bennett the chance to share the spotlight with Woods. And Woods is delighted to have the veteran bagman on board this week in Los Angeles.
“As far as Lance is concerned, I’ve had a great relationship with him over the years going back to when he caddied for Kooch (Kuchar) and when we played at the Presidents Cup together back in, what, Muirfield Village,” he explained.
“In all the years that we’ve been on Ryder Cups and Presidents Cups together and the times I’ve been able to play with him in the same groups. Very down to earth, very loyal and how he conversated through the years, I’ve also taken notice of that.
“We’ve had the same type of feels in how we look at the golf course and how we read putts, they’re very similar. I think it’s a great. We’re going to be a great team and look forward to the challenge.”
It is unclear at this stage whether Bennett’s working relationship with Woods will extend beyond this week’s $20million showpiece at Riviera.
Woods’ light schedule is being plotted around the four majors as he looks to maximise recovery time whilst sharpening his game ahead of the Masters in April.
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