Imagine if Tiger and Charlie Woods win the PNC Championship — Justin Thomas already has

ORLANDO – Tiger Woods, the father, isn’t that different from you or me. The 15-time major champ and father of two doesn’t like when son, Charlie, stares at his phone all the time.


“Put your phone away and just look around. That’s one of the things that I think all parents struggle with is most kids don’t look up anymore. Everyone is looking down,” he said when asked to name a pet peeve or something Charlie does that gets under his skin. “Look around you, the world is so beautiful around you, just look up. But everyone is staring into a screen, and that’s how people view life. It drives me nuts at times because he’s always looking down and there’s so many things around you that are so beautiful at the same time.”




Watching Tiger in dad mode has made Tiger more relatable than ever. Golf fans have watched Charlie, 14, grow up in front of our eyes at the PNC Championship, a 36-hole two-person scramble that begins on Saturday at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club. And grow he has the last four years.


“You can see how much he’s grown from last year. It’s amazing how much he has grown, has changed, and it’s a moving target with him, right? He’s grown somewhere near four inches this year, so his swing has changed, it’s evolved, clubs have evolved,” Tiger said. “And we kept trying to adjust things, and it’s been a lot of fun. But it’s also challenging for him because each and every couple weeks, things change. He just has – he’s growing so fast.”


“He’s leading the tournament in inches grown,” Justin Thomas said. “I can’t quite give him as much grief anymore because he’s close to beating me up.”




Tiger noted that Charlie is hitting it past him now, and just to keep things fair in this 36-hole competition, he’s playing one set back this year at a length of 6,576 yards.


Imagine trying to grow up as the son of one of, if not, the best ever to play a sport. And yet Charlie has fallen hard for golf and seems to be able to handle all of the inevitable comparisons. Imagine being able to learn the game from Tiger. Well, Charlie still has some mixed feelings about that. When Will McGee, the 12-year-old son of Annika Sorenstam, asked him if he listens to his dad’s tips, Charlie said, “It doesn’t happen very often. I mean, when I get desperate, yeah.



“Sometimes he doesn’t see it the way I saw it, which is fun, but I think it’s the understanding of how to hit the proper shot at the proper time. And that’s what all kids have to learn is when do I hit a certain shot at the right time, or how do I take stuff off a shot, how do I hit it a little bit harder, what do I need to do.


“You can do that at home all you want, but under tournament conditions, it’s just so different. And being able to share that with him, share my experiences with him in game-time mode, I think that it was great for both of us because I think we both are able to learn from it and grow from it. I think I learned to be a better teacher with it, and I think that he became a better player because of it.”


Imagine there being a blessing in disguise from Tiger’s accident. His injuries have prevented him from practicing as much as he’d like with Charlie but on the bright side he said he has been home more and able to watch Charlie’s high school matches and caddie for him at junior tournaments, which he might not otherwise have been able to do. This week is special for Team Woods to test their games together under tournament conditions.


“We push each other, which is great,” Tiger said. “And the needle is always out. If you’re going to be able to mouth off and give the jabs, then you have to be able to take it. That’s been a lot of fun for both of us.”


Imagine being able to get a wedge lesson from the legend Lee Trevino. After the pro-am, Charlie hit the range and when Tiger joined him, they made sure to visit with Trevino, who was digging it out of the dirt at age 84 at the far end of the range. They hugged, laughed, and traded stories and tips.


Imagine if Tiger and Charlie were to win the PNC Championship this week. JT has and he took a guess where it would rank for Tiger. “It would be No. 1 for special,” he said.


“Winning majors is unbelievable, and how he’s won his majors, but seeing how much he cares about Charlie and having Sam out here and him doing that together with Charlie and as he’s watched him grow up, it would be a very, very different kind of win that doesn’t maybe come with the record books and history and whatnot,” Thomas added. “I know it would suck for us because they would really rub that in our face.”



Gideon Canice

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