Woods And McIlroy Play Masters Practice Round After DeChambeau Confusion

There was confusion at the Masters on Monday as Tiger Woods was mistakenly billed as playing a practice round with ex-friend Bryson DeChambeau

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy at the 2023 Masters
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy went out for a Monday morning practice round at The Masters, but we thought there was a big story brewing after Augusta National briefly displayed Bryson DeChambeau as one of Tiger’s playing partners.

Social media caught alight when it was thought that DeChambeau was playing with Woods – just days after the big-hitting LIV Golf star revealed that the 15-time Major champion had “cut him off” after joining Greg Norman’s tour.

Woods and DeChambeau had previously been friends but golf’s scientist has been frozen out by one of the game’s greatest ever players as their friendship has been a casualty of the divide between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour.

As news began to break that DeChambeau was playing alongside Woods, Tom Kim and another staunch LIV critic Fred Couples – many were taken aback and wondering just what was going on among the Azaleas on Monday.

However, it proved to be a false alarm as the mistake was then corrected and it became clear that Woods was playing with fellow PGA Tour defender McIlroy, along with Couples and Kim.

Talk will now turn to whether Tiger and Rory will be paired together for the first two rounds of the 2023 Masters – just as they were for the Genesis Invitational at Riviera earlier this year.

It’d be a bold move by Augusta and in truth not a likely one as two of the biggest draws of the tournament will probably be kept apart in order to maximise TV viewers.

Woods was seen in conversation with Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley on Sunday though as he started his preparations, and if anyone could have a say about his own pairings then it would be the five-time winner of the Green Jacket.

The 47-year-old went out on the course with just some wedges and a putter on Sunday as he made a low-key start to his preparations – as he needs to conserve as much energy as possible and not trouble that injured leg as much as he possibly can.

For McIlroy, he yet again is bidding to complete the career Grand Slam and also end his Major drought and add to the four he already has in the bank.

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.