HARTFORD, Conn. – One of the most lasting images in Tiger Woods’ legendary career was racing into the arms of son Charlie behind the 18th green at Augusta National Golf Club after winning his fifth Masters and 15th major championship last year.
It immediately elicited memories of Tiger racing into the arms of his late father, Earl, after notching a record 12-stroke victory at Augusta National in 1997 for his first major title.
So it’s not surprising that Tiger garnered more attention when the winner of a record-tying 82 PGA Tour events said he will team with 11-year-old Charlie in the PNC Championship on Dec. 19-20 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Orlando, Fla.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am to be playing with Charlie in our first official tournament together,” Woods said in a statement. “It’s been great watching him progress as a junior golfer and it will be incredible playing as a team together in the PNC Championship.”
Woods, whose reign as the 2019 Masters champion ended Sunday when he tied for 38th at 1-under-par 287,19 strokes behind record-setting Travelers Championship winner Dustin Johnson, has only one Top-10 in nine starts on the PGA Tour this year.
Formerly known as the Father/Son Challenge, the PNC Championship brings together top PGA and LPGA Tour major-winning players and a family member to compete as a team. Woods will make his tournament debut with Charlie, who has already established himself as an accomplished junior golfer in Florida.
Woods, 44, has caddied for Charlie at several junior tournaments, but outside of the odd sighting on social media videos, this will be the first time for fans to see the young Woods in action. That’s in dramatic contrast to the profile the elder Woods had at the same age. Taught by his father Earl, Woods had made numerous appearances on television as a prodigy from as early as age 2.
Earlier this year, Woods spoke of his son’s game with GOLFTV
“I’m still winning for now,” Woods said. “He’s starting to get into it. He’s starting to understand how to play. He’s asking me the right questions. I’ve kept it competitive with his par, so it’s been just an absolute blast to go out there and just be with him. It reminds me so much of me and my dad.”
Tiger said it’s much too early to say if Charlie will come even close to approaching dad’s greatness.
“It depends how bad he wants it. It’s all on him,” Woods said. “I wanted it at a very, very early age. I wanted to compete and play in this game. That’s on him — whether he wants it or not.”
While the tournament will take place without spectators due to COVID-19 restrictions, fans will be able to enjoy watching 20 teams on NBC, Golf Channel and Peacock. There also will be enhanced social media coverage across all PGA TOUR and PNC Championship channels.
The field also includes former Greater Hartford Open (now Travelers Championship) winners Lee Trevino, Greg Norman and Nick Price, Mark Calcavecchia, John Daly, David Duval, Jim Furyk, Padraig Harrington, Lee Janzen, Tom Kite, Matt Kuchar, Bernhard Langer, Tom Lehman, Mark O’Meara, Gary Player, Vijay Singh, Annika Sorenstam and former FedExCup champion Justin Thomas, who will play with his father/coach for the first time.
Calcavecchia, the 1989 British Open champion and runner-up to Notah Begay III in the 2000 GHO, will also make his debut alongside his son, Eric. Furyk and Kuchar will play with their sons, having previously partnered with their fathers. In addition to four-time winner Langer and son Jason, past champion Duval returns along with 10-time major winner Sorenstam, who made her debut last year.
The inaugural tournament in 1995 attracted 10 major winners. This year’s event is a 36-hole scramble with a $1.085 million purse.