Tiger Woods opens up on new caddie and stocks new driver ahead of golf comeback

Tiger Woods will step onto the first tee at the Hero World Challenge on Thursday with the man who knows him best on his bag but with an untried driver in his hand. The 15-time major champion will make his eagerly awaited return to elite golf in the dreamy surroundings of the Bahamas’ Albany Golf Club after a seven-month layoff following ankle surgery.

Woods’ comeback sees him bring longtime confident Rob McNarama in as his caddie this week, although that seems unlikely to be a long-term partnership.

Speaking to reporters ahead of his own tournament, Woods said: “I’ve got Rob this week; he’s seen me hit a few shots. As far as next year, I don’t know yet. I don’t think [son] Charlie’s going to be able to caddie. Can’t play hooky that often.”

Woods has been without a permanent caddie since he released Joe LeCava during his injury lay-off. LeCava has gone on to partner Patrick Cantlay and the 68-year-old was at the centre of controversy at the Ryder Cup in September when he caused a scene by waving his cap in the face of Rory McIlroy as the World No. 2 lined up a crucial putt on the 18th green.

LeCava had been with Woods for 12 years, winning The Masters together in 2019, but after the all-time great went back under the knife earlier this year, they agreed to part company.

Speaking at Quail Hollow Club in May (as per Golf Digest), LeCava said: “Tiger’s not going to play much going forward.

“Obviously he’s not retiring. But he’s going to play two to six tournaments a year. Tiger and I have talked about if something were to come up, feel free to do something. ‘I know how much you miss it, how much you love caddying.’ And when this opportunity arose, I checked with Tiger. And he said, ‘You’re crazy not to take the job, go forward, go win some tournaments, go have a great time.’”

New caddie McNamara is a trusted advisor of Woods and serves as a vice president with Woods’ TGR Ventures business.

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But it is not just a new caddie that the 46-year-old will be getting accustomed to this week. According to the Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis, he will have a new 1-Wood in his bag on Thursday. The TaylorMade Qi10 LS driver was only added to the R&A and USGA conforming lists this month.

Judging Woods’ performance with his latest tool could be tricky after the man himself admitted to being ‘rusty’ after so long out and unsure what to expect from himself.

But even if the sporting icon turns out to be way off his game in his return, all eyes will be back on him when he begins his first round alongside fellow American Justin Thomas on Thursday.

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