Tiger and Charlie Woods ‘make memories that will last a lifetime’ at PNC Championship
ORLANDO - Charlie Woods can pump with his fist just like his father.
It was a wonderful moment to see Tiger's 11-year-old son pour a 10-foot birdie putt on the 10th hole on Sunday at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club on the Grande Lakes and celebrate as his father has done so many times would have. It looked terribly familiar to former British Open champion David Duval, who witnessed many heroic acts by Tiger at the height of his career.
"You have to love it, right," said Duval. "I thought that was spectacular."
On Sunday, Charlie continued to play with his famous father in the PNC Championship, a 36-hole team event that saw 20 prestigious title winners and a family member compete in a scramble competition. Team Woods spiked a bogey with eagles at numbers 5 and 14 and six birdies for a second straight hit of 10 under 62, finishing in seventh place, five shots behind champions Justin and Mike Thomas. But the result was almost irrelevant as it was likely the first and only time Tiger tied it off without worrying about the win.
"The idea was to make sure we had fun," said Tiger. "That's why we play for fun and to play together."
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Charlie seemed to be enjoying every minute of his public appearance as a golfer. He made an eagle on his own ball on Saturday and then hit several approaches in the shot of his famous father in scramble format. On Sunday, Team Woods decided several times in matching red shirts on a strategy where Charlie tee off first. After Charlie blasted a ball in the middle on the third hole, he turned and signaled that he'd hit a good one with a thumbs up and Tiger didn't even bother hitting it. At the 18th hole he just waved, a gesture that said to his father: "We're good."
"He's got great fundamentals," said Duval. “Charlie is damn good being a little guy. It only gets better when he wants to. "
Charlie showed poise and maturity beyond his years. It remains to be seen whether he will stick with the sport. But for a week he did what few golfers could - steal his famous father's spotlight.
For Charlie, who played well in several Florida junior tournaments, this was kind of a coming-out party. A gallery with around 200 people, including sister Sam and mother Elin Nordegren, made its tournament debut as the youngest player to ever take part in the tournament.
"Imagine how many people would have followed you?" said a spectator. "It will never be the same again where you can see tigers with only 50 people."
When the last putt was pocketed by Team Woods, Charlie sank into his father's arms for a warm hug. It was a weekend of good father-son time, said Tiger, and "memories that would last a lifetime."
But Charlie is his father's son. The Uppercut and Club Twirl weren't the only ways Charlie looked like his dear old father. He's also inherited his competitive spirit. As Justin told Thomas, the first thing Charlie said to him after the round was that he and his dad hit it in 8th place at 23 feet - and three puttings.
The apple didn't fall far from the tree.
How much money did each team win in the PNC championship?
Justin Thomas, father of Mike, wins the PNC championship; Charlie Woods shines on debut
Observe: Another way Charlie Woods reminds us of his father? This Tiger Woods fist pump.
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