By Daniel Rapaport
The golf world received an early Christmas present when Tiger Woods announced that he would team up with his 11-year-old son Charlie in the PNC Championship, a two-day exhibition that will take place on Dec. 19-20 at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Orlando.
Woods spoke in detail about the upcoming event for the first time since the announcement, telling Golf Digest that entering the event was a joint decision and emphasising the most important thing in Charlie’s development as a golfer: keeping it fun.
“He’s a little on the chirpy side, just like I am,” Woods said, confirming Justin Thomas’ comments at last week’s Mayakoba Golf Classic that the younger Woods talks trash just like his dad. Thomas will also play with the event alongside his father and coach, Mike.
“(Charlie has) used my lines against me very well. At times, I get frustrated and annoyed because it’s turned right back against me. But that’s the good side of it. We have fun with it.”
Woods said the idea for entering the formerly known as the Father-Son Challenge came during the PGA Tour’s COVID-19 hiatus, which gave him the opportunity to spend more time playing and practicing with his son. There will be 20 teams in the tournament, each comprised of one major-winning golfer and a family member, and the pairs will play a two-man scramble for each of the two rounds.
RELATED: Justin Thomas jokes that Tiger Woods’ son Charlie ‘talks trash just like his dad’
“Because everything was shut down, the only thing that was available to us was golf. He started to pick up golf, but this pandemic allowed us to play more golf and be with one another. And we just started playing a lot, and he started getting the bug for it. And so did I. It kept me competitive, kept me in it when we didn’t have any tournaments. But I had a tournament every day with him, and that was the fun part. Was just like me growing up with my dad.”
Charlie has drawn attention for his strong finishes in junior tournaments around Florida, where he shot under par to win nine-hole events multiple times over the summer. Yet according to his dad, Charlie’s attention could easily shift toward another sport in the near future.
“it’s just an evolution. Like all kids, they go from one thing to the next. Right now, he’s into golf. But who knows, it could switch to something else. As long as he’s happy, he’s excited about whatever sport he’s in.”
As far as preparation for the PNC, Woods said he and Charlie have been cramming to get their games in shape.
“You’re still prepping, you’re still getting ready, still trying to peak for that event,” Woods said. “Go out there and just have fun, and be competitive.”