Not Nicklaus nor Snead nor Tour stars can motivate Tiger; only son Charlie can

Shortly before his 45th birthday, one can ask oneself: what is Tiger doing now?
They aren't the titans of the game. Not the long-standing desire to dwarf Jack Nicklaus' 18 majors, or his recent pursuit of Sam Snead's 82 PGA Tour titles.
It's not this newest generation of stars. Not keeping up with Dustin Johnson or Rory McIlroy or Justin Thomas.
No, it sure looks like it's sixth grader Woods he worked with at the PNC championship, the Whiz Kid with the brag and the mop top he shared some priceless moments with over the weekend and the leaves the same impression on us as viewers: Awwwww, he's a mini-me.
"These are memories that we will have for all our lives," said Woods. "It was all golf, just him and me. We just come into our own little world."
Make no mistake, this isn't like the family story of another sports megastar, LeBron James. LeBron turns 36 next week but remains a dominant force, not just any aging warrior hanging around for a few too many years so that one day he can join the NBA with his 16-year-old son Bronny.
Tiger: 'Words can't describe' what it felt like to play with Charlie
Tiger is in his 40s and has a body that feels three decades older in the morning. Son Charlie is eleven years old and has the difficult teenage years ahead of him. His own interests, dreams and ambitions have yet to be pursued. Even if Charlie turns into an elite prospect and takes the golf world by storm (if he hasn't already, as a trending topic on Twitter), they'll almost certainly never cross on the tour.
But Charlie's deep passion for the sport should keep Tiger active and committed in the twilight of his career, even if his tournament results continue to decline like in 2020. Charlie will now be a reliable companion - pushing, cajoling, needling.
Tiger doesn't want to let him down.
It was only three years ago, on the eve of another comeback after an injury, that Tiger spoke of wanting his kids to be known as more than just a “YouTube golfer”. (Apparently Charlie saw hours of footage: his mannerisms, from his club twirls to his annoyed reactions to his crooked smile, were carbon copies.) In Tiger's view, his children were too young to appreciate how dominant and larger than life he was; Charlie was 4 years old when Tiger won his last tournament in 2013. All they knew was that decades of golf had caused their father unimaginable pain, forcing him to the couch and bed, and driving him to a place as dark as he was arrested in 2017 after police found he slumped over the steering wheel of his Mercedes and five pain medications flowed through his system. Tiger doesn't often speak anecdotally, but perhaps the saddest story he has ever told was how daughter Sam once found him under cover in the back yard, unable to get up and hold his back.
This was what made Tiger's 2018 resurgence so exciting, and why it electrified crowds from Tampa to DC to St. Louis that summer. It was so unexpected, not just for his legion of fans, but also for Tiger and his own family. His kids were there for the close call in Carnoustie when he took the lead in the Back Nine, but stumbled when he got home. This loss struck her for the first time. As he later told them, "I hope you're proud of your Pops for trying as hard as I am."
Tiger the competitor reveals Tiger the father during a fun, emotional weekend
A few months later, Tiger won another YouTube highlight for the first time in five years, but his kids were watching at home in South Florida. They flew to Georgia before the final round of the 2019 Masters and at Augusta National they had a real experience: the teeming crowd, the perfect shots, the moment of euphoria on the 18th, that also became their moment, wrapped in bear hugs behind the last green.
"I just can't say enough how much this meant to me during my fights when it was really hard to move, just their infectious bliss," Tiger said that day. "To have her there and now to see her pops win, just like my pops saw me win here, is very special."
So special that that afternoon, or maybe on the flight home, something about Charlie changed when he and his sister argued about who could wear the green jacket. "It was easy up until then," Tiger's caddy Joe LaCava told the New York Times of Charlie's interest in the sport. "It's intense now - in a good way."
Now it's about searching daddy's brain, showering him with smart questions, expanding his own golf IQ, but also challenging the way Tiger sees his current game.
Now it's a chirpy putting contest with Thomas or the golf version of H.O.R.S.E. in the backyard practice area.
Results are now being published on Medalist and local junior events, and for the first time in a national televised tournament in Orlando.
While Tiger hasn't practiced much after last month's Masters and has been more focused on Charlie's prep, it's easy to imagine how her collective performance will only serve as motivation. On the flight home, Charlie would be buzzing about the experience, but if he's anything like his old man he'd also be stewing some of the recordings that they didn't quite complete. Or the putts they missed. Or the last ranking in which they left five shots behind. WE can do better.
So they'll come back together, lost in their own little world, knowing that the highlight role on YouTube isn't done yet.

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