From society twirls come fist pumps come allergies, also Tiger Woods can"t believe the similarities between him and also his son, Charlie


Close an elderly golf writer because that extended golf for more than two decades Earned Evans Scholarship to to visit Indiana University

ORLANDO, Fla. -- it is no surprise that Justin Thomas and his dad, Mike, will certainly be paired v Tiger Woods and also his son, Charlie, during the opened round of the PNC Championship on Saturday.

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They did so during the very first round a year ago, and also they are next-door neighbors in southern Florida.

But what was amazing is what the older thomas -- a previous club pro and still a teacher to his son -- said about playing through Woods recently.

"It"s stunner how good he"s hitting it and also how far he"s hitting, for what he"s been through," Mike Thomas claimed Thursday in ~ the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club.

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That chandelier to include a bit more juice to what currently promises to be a high-intensity weekend because that what is normally a low-key, offseason golf occasion among significant champions and also their household members.

Woods will play compete golf because that the first time in a year -- due to the fact that he and also Charlie, currently 12, tied for seventh in ~ this exact same tournament a year ago, in fact.

A Feb. 23 vehicle crash in which Woods suffered significant injuries to his ideal leg and foot left that hospitalized for weeks and also immobile for months. Only recently has he emerged to present the progress he has actually made, which has playing golf through his son, something that appeared inconceivable in the consequences of the accident.

"My excitement level is high simply for him being out here and also being somewhere other than his house and also getting to see a lot of familiar faces," said Justin Thomas, a 14-time PGA tour winner who has probably spent much more time through Woods in the past several months than any kind of other player.

"And know spending time with Charlie is a large deal come him. So I understand he"s excited for the part.

"In terms of competing, i think his expectation are really low. But at the same time, he is who he is for a reason, so I"m certain he"ll be pissed turn off if he doesn"t pat well."

Woods, who transforms 46 ~ above Dec. 30, make the efforts to save the expectation down throughout his news conference at the Hero World an obstacle on Nov. 30. He to be self-deprecating regarding how much he was hitting the ball, and cautioned that he was a long way from playing competitive tour golf.

He identified that "hit and giggle" golf can be in his future, and so here he is at the PNC, with a Friday morning pro-am time a very first real opportunity for the civilization to gain a glimpse of his game.

"We all know him well sufficient to know that he"s never going to recognize to gift close to wherein he"d choose to be," Mike thomas said. "More importantly, where he would normally be contrasted to now. Much more importantly is his shot, whatever he has right now. ... He"s still obtained some speed. He"s got some length. Access time a the majority of really, really do the washing up shots. I mean, i was surprised."

A year ago, Charlie Woods stole the show, remarkable those who watched with how similar his mannerisms were to those that his father, who has actually won 15 major championships and also 82 PGA tour titles.

But now the emphasis will again be squarely on Tiger.

"It shows just how Tiger"s changed," claimed Padraig Harrington, the europe Ryder Cup captain, who is playing through his boy Paddy. "Let"s challenge it. Tiger to be always an excellent to play versus at his peak. But he was a hired professional. He let nobody in. Nobody knew that Tiger was. "But currently as a parent, he"s a completely different person. He"s changed. There"s no means he would certainly be playing any type of golf at this phase right currently only because that he desires to have actually that endure with his son. As you flourish older, you establish there"s much more to life. Your family becomes the facility of her life. And it"s clear through Tiger that"s the case.

"He would execute anything to give his boy an experience he can"t forget. Tiger doesn"t should be play golf this week. I"m sure if this wasn"t ~ above now, friend wouldn"t check out him at the very least for 3 or four more months."

Regardless just how Woods plays, the speculation as to when he will certainly return is bound to it is in endless. Deserve to he return in time for the Masters? Is The open at St. Andrews much more likely? Does he play at all in 2022?

The PNC is far more subdued than any type of other public golf he would certainly play. It"s simply 36 holes. He is permitted to use a golf cart. And also the layout is a scramble, which method both players hit a tee shot, play indigenous the finest one and continue that process until the hole is completed.

Last year, v a sizable development from the small tees, Charlie regularly hit drives well right into play that supposed his renowned dad didn"t even need to bother. It will certainly be exciting to see how regularly Tiger hits a driver or any tee shots, given his situation.

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"I"m sure some job he"s like, "Oh, wow, I deserve to do this," and there"s some days whereby it"s like, "Oh, I"m no really sure,"" Justin cutting board said. "But is very impressive and unbelievable.

"But I know that he what deep in there had this circled ~ above his calendar the wanting come come ago here."