The sight of Tiger Woods wearing his red shirt on the final day of majors has long shot fear into the hearts of fellow competitors and electrified golf fans.
So the sight of both father and son Charlie in matching red shirts and black trousers had on-watchers equally captivated in the PNC Championship over the weekend.
With their matching attire, synchronized golf ticks and with Tiger fist-pumping whenever Charlie sunk a putt, Team Woods stole the show at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Orlando, Florida.
While Justin Thomas and his father Mike won the title, Team Woods – who finished seventh among a 20-team field – went back home with “memories we’ll have for our entire lives,” according to the 15-time major champion.
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“He’s not going to appreciate this at 11 years old, added Woods. “I didn’t when I was with my dad. As the years go by, you start appreciating it more. I’m sure we’ll have a lot of banter over the holidays and years to come.”
When it was created 25 years ago, the PNC Championship was originally started as a father-son competition. Initially, it was meant to feed fans’ desire to see the children of golf’s biggest stars.
It has subsequently developed into any major champions and Players Championship winners competing with a family member.
Thomas’ father is a club professional in Kentucky and his son’s coach, and the world No. 3 called the PNC Championship “100% the most enjoyable” of his career victories.
“A part of you didn’t care who won,” he said. “We were here as father and son to enjoy a special moment.”
Charlie often played from tee shots 100 yards ahead of Tiger, with sometimes the 15-time major winner choosing not to hit his drive such was the excellency of his son’s work.
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Even with the 250 on course spectators and the TV cameras, Charlie – the youngest competitor in the tournament’s history – was unfazed.
And Alastair Johnston, vice chairman at IMG who helped found the tournament, believes his performance on the biggest stage may have inspired a new generation of players.
“I’d like to find the right way to tell Charlie that thousands of kids watching at home will be inspired to want to play golf with their dads,” Johnston said. “He wouldn’t appreciate it now. But one day he might.”