Tiger Woods limping in a tournament he wouldn’t dare miss

Dec 16, 2022, 12:46 AM | Updated: 7:44 pm
Tiger Woods speaks during the trophy ceremony of the Hero World Challenge PGA Tour at the Albany Go...

Tiger Woods speaks during the trophy ceremony of the Hero World Challenge PGA Tour at the Albany Golf Club, in New Providence, Bahamas, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

(AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Tiger Woods and his 13-year-old son shared something else in common Friday in the PNC Championship. Both were limping.

Only one of them was in a cart.

“His ankle is not exactly … well, it’s better than mine,” Woods said, referring to son Charlie rolling his ankle and hobbling along during the pro-am. “It’s just the way it goes, just kind of bad timing on it. But we’ll be ready come game time tomorrow.”

This is one tournament Woods — Tiger or Charlie — was not about to miss. That starts with the father, who shattered his right leg in a February 2021 car crash in Los Angeles and now has plantar fasciitis in his right foot that forced him to withdraw from his Hero World Challenge two weeks ago.

He would have had to walk in the Bahamas. The PNC Championship, which pairs major champions with a family member, is sanctioned by the PGA Tour Champions. That means Woods is allowed to ride a cart.

But that could come at a cost. Asked if playing the 36-hole tournament that starts Saturday could set him back, Woods replied, “Yes.”

“You know, I don’t really care about that,” he said. “I think being there with and alongside my son is far more important, and getting to have a chance to have this experience with him is far better than my foot being a little creaky.”

That much was obvious on the first tee of their pro-am at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club Orlando. Woods piped his drive down the middle, and as Charlie went to a forward set of tees, Woods pulled out his phone to capture the image.

And it was obvious outside the ropes.

The temperature was in the low 50s. The pro-am can be tedious. And yet spectators stood shoulder-to-shoulder down the length of the hole, three- and four-deep around the tee box, to get a glimpse of Tiger and his cub.

Such occasions are rare these days. Woods is competing for only the fifth time since he and his son finished second to John Daly and Little John Daly last year. That includes 10 holes of the made-for-TV team match last Saturday.

A year ago, it was all about Woods coming back from the car crash, which didn’t seem possible when he was confined to a hospital bed in his home for the summer and told about doctors contemplating amputation of his right leg.

That led to him playing in the Masters (a tie for 48th), the PGA Championship (he withdrew after the third round) and the British Open at St. Andrews (missed cut).

Going forward, Woods isn’t sure what to expect.

“If I didn’t have the plantar feeling like this, then, yes, I could tell you that and I’d have a better idea,” Woods said. “But I’m supposed to be resting this thing and stretching and letting it heal. But I’m not doing that at the moment.”

As often as he smiled after his round, he didn’t seem to mind.

His son is getting taller and starting to fill out, and the swing is balanced and fluid. Woods sheepishly conceded last week during his exhibition match that Charlie finally piped one by him on one drive.

They will be paired Saturday with Justin Thomas and his father, Mike, a longtime club professional. Woods refers to them as “extended family.” Mike Thomas has a history of working with junior golfers and Woods used to have him take a look at Charlie.

“I haven’t spent near as much time in the last couple month as he’s grown so much, but he’s gotten so much stronger and longer,” Mike Thomas said. “He’s got a lot of skill, for sure.”

Woods pays more attention to how his son plays than the results he gets. They are lessons his father passed on to him all those years ago.

“This is what I was taught by my dad, is understanding how to fix it when on the fly when I’m not around,” Woods said. “One of the reasons why I always tell him why we’re doing what we’re doing, so that he can retrace the steps. And when he gets a little off, now he knows what to go back to and understand that.

“And that’s where I’ve seen the biggest growth.”

Charlie Woods isn’t the youngest player in the field. Will McGee is the 11-year-old son of Annika Sorenstam and making his debut. Also playing is 87-year-old Gary Player.

That got the attention of Jordan Spieth, when he saw both of them in the locker room.

“That was new for me,” Spieth said. “There’s a dispersion on the PGA Tour, but it’s like 20 to 50, not 11 to 87. So that was cool to see.”


AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Brooklyn Nets guard Seth Curry, left, drives to the basket against Washington Wizards guard Monte M...
Associated Press

Already short-handed Nets lose Curry, Morris to injuries

NEW YORK (AP) — The short-handed Brooklyn Nets lost guard Seth Curry and forward/center Markieff Morris to injuries during their game against the Washington Wizards on Saturday night. Curry suffered a left adductor injury during the third quarter, and Morris had a sore left knee. The Nets announced neither would return to the game. Curry […]
17 hours ago
NASCAR Cup Series driver Joey Logano (22) speaks to reporters ahead of practice sessions before a N...
Associated Press

New-look Logano leads NASCAR back to the L.A. Coliseum

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Joey Logano arrived at the first event of the season with a jet black shock of thick hair and a banner in the grandstands advertising the company that treated NASCAR’s reigning champion for alopecia and early baldness. “Ask Joey!” the company Hairclub urged on a banner draped in the lower bowl […]
17 hours ago
Keith Mitchell prepares to hit a drive on the 7th tee of the Pebble Beach Golf Links during the thi...
Associated Press

Strong wind suspends third round at Pebble Beach

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) — A strong wind was more than just a menace at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. It brought the tournament to a halt Saturday because of two holes on one of the courses, and set up a Monday finish without the amateurs. Keith Mitchell made it through the worst stretch of […]
17 hours ago
Indiana's Trayce Jackson-Davis, left, reacts with Miller Kopp (12) after Jackson-Davis hit a basket...
Associated Press

Jackson-Davis, No. 21 Indiana beat Edey, No. 1 Purdue 79-74

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Trayce Jackson-Davis scored 25 points and Jalen Hood-Schifino delivered the clinching basket on a dunk with 2 seconds left as No. 21 Indiana beat No. 1 Purdue 79-74 on Saturday. Zach Edey finished with 33 points and 18 rebounds for Purdue. The Hoosiers (16-7, 7-5 Big Ten) have won both of […]
17 hours ago
In a photo provided by Benoit Photo, Newgate and jockey Lanfranco Dettori, outside, hold off a stub...
Associated Press

Newgate wins Robert Lewis Stakes; Baffert runs 1-2-3-4

ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) — Newgate won the $200,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes by a neck on Saturday, with Bob Baffert as the trainer of all four horses in the Kentucky Derby prep race at Santa Anita. Ridden by Frankie Dettori, Newgate ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.11 and paid $4 and $2.60 as the even-money […]
17 hours ago
This undated photo provided by Ryan Wilson shows Tyre Nichols, who had a passion for skateboarding ...
Associated Press

Tony Hawk to donate photo proceeds to Tyre Nichols fund

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Skateboard legend Tony Hawk says he will donate half of the proceeds of autographed photos of himself and BMX rider Rick Throne to the memorial fund for Tyre Nichols. “My proceeds from these will go to the Tyre Nichols Memorial Fund, which includes plans to build a public skatepark in his […]
17 hours ago
Tiger Woods limping in a tournament he wouldn’t dare miss