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The first question that needed answering about Tiger Woods was whether he actually going to play in this year’s Masters.

As a past champion, Woods never had to confirm he was teeing it up at Augusta National and he has not played competitive golf since withdrawing from the Genesis Invitational through illness in February.

Any lingering doubts over his 26th appearance at the Masters were alleviated, though, when he stepped onto the first tee at Augusta on Sunday to begin his preparations for the first major of the season.

The next obvious question: Who will be on Tiger’s bag? That was confirmed on Sunday, too.

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Walking the course with the 15-time major champion was Lance Bennett, the veteran looper who has his name next to Woods on the tournament’s caddie registry.

Bennett, who made his debut on Woods’ bag at Riviera for the Genesis, was the longtime caddie of Matt Kuchar and has also worked with the likes of Zach Johnson, Bill Haas, Sungjae Im and Davis Riley.

Lance Bennett will carry Woods' bag for the second time this week
Lance Bennett will carry Woods’ bag for the second time this week (Getty Images)

“I’ve had a great relationship with him over the years going back to when he caddied for Kuch and when we played at the Presidents Cup together back in, what, Muirfield Village,” Woods said when asked about Bennett at Riviera.

“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.

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“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.”

Woods will face the media on Tuesday after being spotted at Augusta for the first time since withdrawing seven holes into last year’s third round through injury.

He has completed only one tournament round since, and has played all four rounds of an event just twice in the last four years.

However, the 48-year-old could make more Masters history this year and stand alone in the Augusta annals in terms of longevity. He tied Gary Player and Fred Couples for most consecutive cuts made (23) at last year’s renewal and has the chance to break that record this week.

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Ben Parsons joined bunkered as a Content Producer in 2023 and is the man to come to for all of the latest news, across both the professional and amateur games. Formerly of The Mirror and Press Association, he is a member at Halifax Golf Club and is a long-suffering fan of both Manchester United and the Wales rugby team.

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