Tiger Woods still has one tournament left this year that may seem as big as any he has played in before.
The PNC Championship announced Thursday that Woods will play with his 11-year-old son Charlie in a tournament that has paired important champions with their sons since 1995, a year before Woods, 44, turned pro. .
“I can’t tell you how excited I am to be playing Charlie in our first official tournament together,” Woods said. “It has been great to see him progress as a junior golfer, and it will be amazing to play as a team together in the PNC Championship.”
The PNC Championship takes place December 19-20 in Orlando, Florida.
The biggest television exposure 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. It was his fifteenth major, but the first his son saw him win.
Woods has been a caddy for his son at youth events and a smooth swing from Charlie went viral earlier this year.
Woods concluded his official year with an eventful Sunday at the Masters. He was out of competition when he took a 10 on par three of 12, then followed up with five birdies on his last six holes.
The PNC Championship, the brainchild of veteran IMG executive Alastair Johnston, has gone through iterations over the years to try and keep up with the times. It allowed Fuzzy Zoeller to play with his daughter, Gretchen, and Arnold Palmer to play with his grandson, Sam Saunders. One year, Aaron Stewart played with Paul Azinger after the boy’s father, Payne Stewart, was killed in a plane crash. Annika Sorenstam is playing with her father, Tom. This year Justin Thomas joins the field playing with his father, Kentucky club veteran Mike Thomas.
For Johnston, Woods agreeing to play led him back to a joke that became reality. They were next door neighbors when Woods turned pro in 1996 and signed with IMG.
“When he came back, it was two or three days before we caught up and I said, ‘Congratulations.’ I had a big smile on my face, ”Johnston said. “I said, ‘You just qualified to play in father-son.’ He seemed very taken aback by the fact. “
Johnston started leaving clues about playing alongside Charlie through people close to Woods a few years ago, and Woods seemed interested. Among the questions Woods had was the age of other children. Johnston said the sons of Seve Ballesteros and Bernhard Langer each played around the same age as Charlie.
It probably helps that the PNC Championship has no spectators due to the Covid-19 pandemic, although Johnston believes that Woods would not put his son on a public stage unless he felt he could handle it. The tournament is televised on NBC.
Langer, Raymond Floyd, and Larry Nelson have won the tournament multiple times with different sons. Players must have won a Major or The Players Championship, and their partner must not have a PGA Tour card.
Others on the field include John Daly, Greg Norman, Nick Price, Lee Trevino and Gary Player, with one player yet to be announced for the 20-team field.
Until he decided to play in the PNC Championship, Woods was thought to end the year at the Masters. The Hero World Challenge he organizes in the Bahamas, scheduled for early December, was canceled due to travel problems related to the pandemic.
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