Tiger Woods prepares to play the PNC Championship with his son

Last week, Tiger Woods confirmed he would never again be a full-time player on the PGA Tour due to the serious leg injuries he sustained in a high-speed car crash in February. But Woods acknowledged he could “play a round here and there,” which he called, “a little hit and laugh.”

Woods doesn’t wait long to get back on the golf course casually and publicly. On Wednesday, he announced that he will be playing in a family tournament with his son, Charlie, on December 18-19. The event, the PNC Championship, has a small limited course – once called the Father/Son Championship – and the competition will be held at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Orlando, Florida.

“Although it has been a long and difficult year,” Woods, whose doctors considered amputating his right leg 10 months ago, wrote on Twitter on Wednesday. “I am so excited to finish it off by competing in the PNC Championship with my son Charlie. I am playing as a dad and I couldn’t be more excited and proud.”

Woods, who will turn 46 on December 30, has not been in a tournament of any kind since entering the 2020 PNC Championship with Charlie, now 12, about a year ago. The duo finished seventh. Shortly thereafter, Woods underwent a fifth back surgery that left him sidelined for the next few months.

The coordination of the 36-hole PNC Championship team should make it easier for Woods to avoid putting too much pressure on his lower right leg, which doctors reattached using a rod, screws and bolts during emergency surgery after a crash outside Los Angeles on February 3. 23. Each player in the pairing hole will start hitting from a tee and players will then choose the most advantageous tee shot to play. Both players take a second shot from that spot, a process that is repeated until the hole is over.

Most importantly for Woods, there will only be two 18-hole rounds instead of the usual four rounds on the PGA Tour and players can use golf carts that go within a few feet of the player’s ball. On the round, golfers have to walk.

Players will also be playing from different combinations of tees, which means Charlie Woods will be playing from the front tees and often making his father’s shots, which will be hit from a distance, unnecessary. While Tiger Woods was hitting golf balls on a practice field during last week’s World Champion Challenge, a PGA Tour event he hosted in the Bahamas, he also made several jokes about how his shots were going about half the distance they previously did because he lacked strength and his leg nerves were down. right hand. From 2018 to 2020, Woods averaged about 299 yards in driving distance during tour events.

At last year’s PNC Championship, Woods would sometimes hit his son first – from tees that could be dozens of meters from the hole – and if Charlie’s shot was well positioned on or near the waterway, Woods didn’t bother hitting a tee his own. The shape, known as a scramble, could put Woods in a position to essentially hit the less physically demanding shots that are hit with irons, wedges and bat during his rounds. The shape would also allow Woods to turn down any shots from a difficult, uneven lie or from rough terrain that might put extra force on his right leg.

NBC will broadcast both rounds of the PNC Championship on television.

Woods’ appearance on a golf course next week will likely spark talks about when he will return to the PGA Tour. The Masters Championship, which he has won five times, is only four months away. But Woods last week cautioned against speculation about when, or if, he will return to competitive elite golf.

“I haven’t proven to myself that I can do that,” said Woods, who has won 15 major golf tournaments. “I can play a third-tier course and I can take a couple of shots. I can hit the ball and hit the ball, but we’re talking about going out there and playing against the best player in the world on the toughest golf course under the toughest conditions.

“I am very far from it. I have a long way to go to get to this point. I haven’t decided whether I want to get to this point or not. I have to get my feet to the point where this decision can be made.”

In the past year, though, Woods has spoken repeatedly about how much it means to be able to play with Charlie.

“We can do this together for life,” said Woods, who was taught the game by his father, Earl, who died in 2006. “I like the idea of ​​having this chance to play with him for as long as I live.”

He will be joined by several of Woods’ teammates from the PGA Tour in the past 25 years in the field next week, including his close friend Justin Thomas and his father and coach Mike Thomas; Jim Forek and son Tanner; Henrik Stenson and his son Karl; The multiple lead hero turned broadcaster Nick Faldo and his son Matthew. Nelly Korda, the world’s highest-rated golfer, will make her debut at the event playing with her father Peter.

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