Tiger Woods, son Charlie appear in first interview together
December 07, 2022
By Jay Coffin , PGATOUR.COM
- December 07, 2022
- Tiger and Charlie Woods are set to return for third PNC Championship appearance. (Tracy Wilcox/PGA TOUR)
Tiger Woods’ only concern on the golf course used to be crushing his competition and chasing records. That has changed in recent years, as the golf course has also been a venue for him to play the role of a doting father helping his son chase his dreams.
In their first interview together, Tiger and son Charlie discussed their mutual love of golf and 13-year-old Charlie assessed his own game while dishing on his father’s abilities as a caddie. The two will team Dec. 17-18 to compete in their third consecutive PNC Championship at Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Orlando, Florida. Tiger and Charlie finished second last year with a charge that would have made the patriarch proud, making a record 11 consecutive birdies while both wearing Tiger’s trademark red and black.
“I just want him to enjoy whatever he’s doing,” Tiger said of Charlie at the Notah Begay III Junior Golf National Championship. Highlights from the tournament were broadcast Wednesday on Golf Channel. Begay, Woods’ former Stanford teammate, conducted an interview with the Woods duo. “I’m supporting him wherever he wants to go, and obviously providing opportunities for that direction. As a parent our job and responsibility is to provide opportunity and support. It’s been fun that he’s taken a passion to something that I’ve enjoyed.”
Charlie shot a career-best 68 in late September to qualify for the 54-hole championship at Koasati Pines at Coushatta in Kinder, La. He shot 72-69-71 for a 1-under 211 total to finish 11th in the 12-13 age division, making 13 birdies and an eagle during the three days. (The 2023 schedule for Begay’s junior tour can be found here.)
“The biggest thing was just clean up the big numbers,” Charlie said of his performance. “That’s the main thing. Get the misses tighter, practice more. Just have fun.”
While Charlie had no problem critiquing his own game – he later sounded like Tiger when he said he needs to continue to “work on feels” – he was asked to sum up his father’s performance as his caddie during the championship.
“He forgot my putter a few times,” Charlie said. “That’s really it.”
Said Tiger: “It’s hard to describe, because it’s so amazing to be able to be with Charlie out there and fight through it together and do it as a team. Just the fact that he earned his way into the event by shooting the lowest round he’s ever shot. To go out there and play the way he did. Obviously, lots of lessons learned but I think overall the big picture is he thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a lot of fun for both of us.”
When it was over, Tiger looked at his son and said, “proud of you buddy.”
Last week Tiger hosted the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas. He withdrew early in the week because of plantar fasciitis in his foot but stayed at Albany to fulfil his myriad duties as host. He appeared in NBC’s television booth and talked more about how he’s preparing his son for the mental grind that golf provides. It’s little surprise that Tiger is using similar tactics that his father Earl used on him more than 30 years ago.
“If I can get into his head, that means someone else can get into his head,” Tiger said. “It's going to get to a point where I can't get into his head, and then no one else can get in there either.”
Later in the week, Tiger said that Charlie has yet to beat him but did sheepishly admit Charlie drove it past him on one occasion. Barely. He also said that he has never told his son to copy his own swing, but rather should strive to swing the club like one of their South Florida neighbors.
“Don’t copy my swing. Copy Rory’s,” Tiger said Saturday. “Have you ever seen Rory off balance on a shot? No. Not ever.”