Golf: Tiger Woods to play with 11-year-old Charlie in father-son tournament

Tiger Woods has caddied for Charlie (right) in several junior tournaments and the boy's smooth swing went viral earlier this year.
Tiger Woods has caddied for Charlie (right) in several junior tournaments and the boy's smooth swing went viral earlier this year.PHOTO: TIGERWOODS/ INSTAGRAM

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS, AFP, PGA TOUR) - Tiger Woods and his son Charlie will be hunting a title when they team up next month at the PNC Championship, a joint PGA/LPGA Tour family tournament.

Formerly known as the Father/Son Challenge, the PNC Championship will be played at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Orlando from Dec 17-20 and feature Major winners and family members as competing teams.

It marks the first time Woods, winner of 15 Majors, and his 11-year-old son have played the tournament that was last year won by Germany's Bernhard Langer and son Jason.

"I can't tell you how excited I am to be playing with Charlie in our first official tournament together," Woods, a 15-time Major champion, said in a statement on the PGA Tour website. "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."

Charlie has shown signs that he has some of his father's golfing genes by winning his age group at a nine-hole US Kids golf event in August by five shots. According to the Guardian, Woods has caddied for his son in several junior tournaments and the boy's smooth swing went viral earlier this year.

Does Charlie have the beginnings of talent that saw his father win three U.S. Junior Amateurs and three U.S. Amateurs? Can he push towards the same greatness his father has achieved? It is way too early to tell, and unfair to place such expectations on him.

“I don’t know. It depends how bad he wants it. It’s all on him,” Woods, 44, said when asked. “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.”

Woods was famously introduced to the sport by his father Earl, appearing on the Mike Douglas Show at just two years old, giving the television audience a glimpse of the raw talent that has carried him to 82 Tour wins with 15 Majors.

"He's starting to get into it," Woods told GOLFTV earlier this year. "He's starting to understand how to play.

"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."

Woods has largely kept his children, Charlie and 13-year-old daughter Sam, out of the public eye, although both were on hand when he won the 2019 Masters for his first Major title in more than a decade. He and their mother Elin Nordegren were divorced 10 years ago following a widely publicised sex scandal.

He finished the coronavirus pandemic-delayed 2020 Masters this month in deflating style, with a final-round 76 that included a 10 on the par-three 12th - followed by five birdies in his last six holes.

Teaming up with Charlie in the PNC Championship gives him a chance to compete one more time in 2020, a year that has seen his unofficial World Challenge in the Bahamas cancelled because of the pandemic.

No fans will be allowed at the Florida tournament, but it will be televised in the United States by NBC.

The Langers will return to defend the title they won last year. American Justin Thomas will make his debut alongside his father, Mike.

LPGA great Annika Sorenstam of Sweden will also play with her dad.

Other Major champions who will tee it up include Greg Norman, Vijay Singh, Retief Goosen and John Daly.