ORLANDO – Charlie Woods can already fist pump like his father.
It was a beautiful moment to see Tiger’s 11-year-old son pour in a 10-foot birdie putt at the 10th hole on Sunday at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club at Grande Lakes and celebrate the way his father had so many times before. It looked awfully familiar to former British Open champion David Duval, who was witness to many of Tiger’s heroics during the height of his career.
“You’ve got to love it, right,” Duval said. “I thought that was spectacular.”
On Sunday, Charlie continued to have the time of his life playing alongside his famous father in the PNC Championship, a 36-hole team event that paired 20 winners of prestigious titles alongside a family member in a scramble competition. Team Woods offset one bogey with eagles at Nos. 5 and 14 and six birdies to shoot a second straight score of 10-under 62 and finish in seventh place, five strokes behind the champions, Justin and Mike Thomas. But the result was almost immaterial as this was likely the first and only time that Tiger teed it up without concern for winning.
“The idea was to make sure we had fun,” Tiger said. “That’s why we play, for the enjoyment and playing together.”
Charlie seemed to enjoy every minute of making his most public appearance as a golfer. He made an eagle on his own ball Saturday and followed it up by hitting several approach shots inside his famous father’s shot in the scramble format. On multiple occasions on Sunday, Team Woods, dressed in matching red shirts, opted for a strategy where Charlie teed off first. After blasting a ball down the middle at the third hole, Charlie turned back and signaled he’d hit a good one with a thumbs up and Tiger didn’t even bother to hit. At the 18th hole, he simply waved, a gesture that told his dad ‘we’re good.’
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“He’s got great fundamentals,” Duval said. “Charlie moves it pretty darn good for being a little fellow. It’s only going to get better, if that’s what he wants.”
Charlie displayed poise and maturity beyond his years. It’s still to be seen whether he sticks with the sport. But for one week, he did what few golfers have been able to do – steal the spotlight from his famous father.
This was a coming out party of sorts for Charlie, who has played well in several junior tournaments in Florida. A gallery of about 200 people, which included sister Sam and mother Elin Nordegren, witnessed his tournament debut as the youngest player ever to compete in the tournament.
“Imagine how many people would’ve been following them?” one spectator said. “It’s never going to be like this again where you can see Tiger with just 50 people around.”
When the final putt was holed by Team Woods, Charlie sank into his father’s arm for a warm embrace. It was a weekend of quality father-son time, Tiger said, and “memories that would last a lifetime.”
But Charlie is his father’s son. The uppercut and the club twirl weren’t the only ways that Charlie resembled his dear-old dad. He’s inherited his competitive spirit, too. As Justin Thomas recounted, the first thing Charlie said to him after the round was that he and his dad had hit it to 23 feet at No. 8 – and three-putted.
The apple didn’t fall far from the tree.
original article link https://golfweek.usatoday.com/2020/12/20/tiger-woods-charlie-woods-make-memories-pnc-championship/