This year, Tiger Woods has one tournament left that can feel as big as anyone for it.
The PNC Championship announced Thursday that Woods will play with his 11-year-old son Charlie in the tournament, which has paired great champions with their sons since 1995, a year before the 44-year-old Woods became a professional.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am to play with Charlie in our first official tournament together,” Woods said. “It was great to watch him progress as a junior golfer and it would be amazing to play together as a team in the PNC Championship.”
The PNC Championship is from December 19 to 20 at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club Orlando in central Florida.
The biggest TV show Charlie received was last year at Augusta National, when Woods wrapped his son in his arms after winning the Masters for the fifth time, completing a comeback from four back surgeries. This was his 15th major, but the first his son saw him win.
Woods was framing his son in junior competitions, and one moment that caught a lot of attention was the father of another young man trying to shoot a video of Woods, with Charlie and his smooth swing in the background.
Woods ended his official year with a rich Sunday at the Masters. He was far from at odds when he took 10 on the 12th par-3 hole and then followed with five birds over his last six holes.
The PNC Championship, the imagination of longtime IMG CEO Alastair Johnston, went through repetitions over the years to try to keep up with the times.
This allowed Fuzzy Zoeller to play with his daughter Gretchen and Arnold Palmer with his grandson Sam Saunders. Aaron Stewart played Paul Azinger for a year after the boy’s father, Payne Stewart, died in a plane crash. Annika Sorenstam plays with her father Tom.
Justin Thomas, who plays with his father, Mike Thomas, a longtime Kentucky club professional, has been added to the field this year.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am to play with Charlie in our first official tournament together.”
Tiger Woods playing the PNC Championship with his 11-year-old son
For Johnston, if Woods agreed to play, it brought him back to a joke that became a reality. They were neighbors in villas in Isleworth when Woods became a professional in 1996 and signed with IMG.
“When I came back, two or three days later, before we caught up, I said ‘Congratulations.’ I had a big smile on my face, “said Johnston. I said, “You just qualified to play Father-Son.” He seemed very puzzled by the fact. “
It took 23 years, but Woods played.
Johnston started hinting at people close to Woods a few years ago, and Woods sounded interested. Among the questions Woods had was the age of other children. Johnston said Seva Balesteros’ sons and Bernhard Langer played at about the same age.
It probably helps that the PNC Championship won’t have spectators because of the coronavirus pandemic, although Johnston believes Woods won’t bring his son to the public stage unless he feels he can handle it.
The tournament will be broadcast on NBC television.
Woods is the biggest draw in golf, and Johnston’s idea for the PNC Championship when he started was golf fans curious about how the sons of the great champions play.
Langer, Raymond Floyd and Larry Nelson have won several times with different sons. Players must have won a major or player championship, and their partner must not have a PGA Tour card.
Others in the field include John Daly, Greg Norman, Nick Price, Lee Trevino and Gary Player, with one player yet to be named for the 20-team squad. The format is a 36-hole fight and the winner receives the Willie Park trophy.
Until he decided to play in the PNC Championship, Woods was thought to be finishing the Masters year. The Hero World, which hosts the Bahamas, scheduled for December 3-6, has been canceled due to travel problems related to the pandemic.