SANTA MONICA, Calif. – Tiger Woods is back in action this week as the playing host of the PGA Tour’s Genesis Invitational. That has been anticipated for some time. But who will be on the bag for Woods now that Joe LaCava has taken up permanent residence with Patrick Cantlay?
Golfweek has learned that veteran caddie Lance Bennett has been chosen by Woods for the plum assignment at Riviera. Woods knows Bennett well from his days caddying for Matt Kuchar, including a win alongside him at the 2012 Players, during his prime.
In recent years, Bennett has been on the bag for Sungjae Im and Davis Riley and he also spent time on the LPGA with Juli Inkster, Paula Creamer and Lorena Ochoa. This season, he’s working full-time for Tour rookie Adrien Dumont de Chassart, a Belgian golfer who competed at Illinois and won twice on the Korn Ferry Tour, earning KFT Player of the Year honors last season.
Dumont de Chassart (nicknamed ADDC for short) and Woods are managed by the same agency, and Dumont de Chassart isn’t in the field this week, which makes it easy for Bennett to jump to Tiger’s bag. It’s possible that Bennett could be on the bag for Tiger at the Players Championship and the Masters too, but sources say that Tiger may bounce around between some different caddies.
Photos: Tiger Woods through the years
Rob McNamara, Tiger’s longtime business partner and vice president of TGR Ventures, caddied for Tiger at the Hero World Challenge in December and could fill the role again and Woods didn’t shut down the possibility of son Charlie serving as his sidekick in the future when asked if he might tote his bag.
Woods is making his first official Tour start since withdrawing from the Masters after making the cut in April. How much Woods plays this season will depend on his health, but he’s made it very clear he expects to play a limited schedule focused around the majors.
Woods originally had Mike “Fluff” Cowan on the bag when he won the 1997 Masters, then won 13 majors and 72 Tour titles with Steve Williams, and joined up with LaCava in 2012.
Efforts to confirm Tiger’s caddie with his management team were not returned.
In other caddie news, Paul Tesori has moved to the bag of Tom Kim. Tesori spent 12 years on the bag of Webb Simpson before moving to Cameron Young last March. Tesori started the year with Brendon Todd but wasn’t on Todd’s bag in Phoenix. Kim had Joe Skovron last season until he was hired away by Ludvig Aberg. Kim began the year with Daniel Parratt. When asked about joining Kim, Tesori said, “I’m looking forward to what will hopefully be another long term relationship on the bag. Tom is obviously extremely talented but having faith as a common denominator is something that I believe will help when golf gets difficult, which it seems to always be!”