Different Strokes: Tiger Woods set for return with son Charlie

15-time Major winner and his son will attract the headlines at the PNC Championship

Tiger and Charlie to take centre-stage

Guess Pádraig Harrington and his son Paddy won’t be the centre of attention at this weekend’s PNC Championship.

Nor for that matter will Nick Faldo and his son Matthew.

Or Henrik Stenson with his son Karl. Or Jim Furyk and his son Tanner. Or Olympic gold medalist and world number one Nelly Korda with her father Petr. Or Vijay Singh and son Qass.

And there’s also Big John Daly and Little John Daly in the 20-team event.


Justin Thomas and his dad Mike - a PGA club professional - are the defending champions but won’t be walking in the spotlight.

Nope, all eyes will be on Tiger Woods and son Charlie in the invitational event confined to Major champions and a family member which takes place at Ritz Carlton Golf Club in Orlando, Florida.

Woods, injured in a car accident 10 months ago, didn’t play in any tournament this year as he recovered from serious leg injuries sustained in the crash. In fact, his last competitive outing was in the 2020 US Masters (played in November of last year), although he did also partner Charlie in last year’s edition of the PNC.

Mehaffey hoping to keep up momentum

Olivia Mehaffey safely negotiated the first part of qualifying for the Ladies European Tour at La Manga in Spain - finishing third behind Sweden’s Lisa Pettersson - and now moves onto the second phase where full tour cards will be divvied up after a five round marathon on the same two courses.

The qualifying tournaments starts on Thursday and finishes next Monday with Mehaffey aiming to bring that momentum with her in the battle for a tour card.

The 24-year-old Ulsterwoman comfortably earned her spot in the field and believes she will be fresh for the challenge ahead: “I had six weeks off before (arriving in Spain), so it has been a nice way to ease in and I’m pretty happy. There are a few things I want to work on but it was really fun to learn both courses and get back into competitive golf again.”

Word of mouth

"I just told him to bring the bomb and he brought the bomb. It was fun watching him hit those bombs. It's nice when you play scramble, pick up the ball and walk up 30 yards and drop it" - Kevin Na on the benefit of partnering big-hitting Jason Kokrak in the QBE Shootout, where the pair birdied 12 of the closing 13 holes of the final round en route to victory. The Na/Kokrak combination had rounds of 59-64-60 for a winning total of 33-under-par, a shot clear of Sam Burns and Billy Horschel.

By the Numbers

1,500 - That's the price - in Sterling - for a specially commissioned putter to celebrate next year's 150th Open at St Andrews. The commemorative putter is limited to 150, and features a wide body blade made with stainless steel and finished with decorative honeycomb milling and the championship's patterned motif. It is available online at shop.theopen.com

On this day

December 14th 2008 - Old-timers Kenny Perry and Scott Hoch showcased their games to great effect in the Merrill Lynch Shootout in Naples, Florida, where the pair cruised to a four strokes winning margin over JB Holmes and Boo Weekley.

Perry, at 48, and Hoch, at 53, became the oldest winners of the unofficial, limited field tournament and split a payday of $730,000 for their troubles.

The key moment of the final round - a 60 - came when Perry rolled in a 15-footer for an eagle to match that of Weekley’s and ensure they retained the four stroke lead heading to the last.

“Obviously that was big,” said Hoch, who overcame a wrist injury, of his team partner’s eagle. “That pretty much took any chance unless we just fell on our face.”

Twitter Twaddle

Honoured to be included but for me the real winner this year is the generation of young Irish athletes that were hopefully inspired by the MANY incredible feats of our Irish female sportstars. Amazing what can be achieved with some support, visibility and opportunity! - Leona Maguire on being included the RTE Sportsperson of the Year voting, one of six women in the list of eight nominees.

Could not be happier to say I have regained my full @LPGA tour status! Bring on 2022! - Scottish golfer Gemma Dryburgh on successfully negotiating the LPGA Tour Q Series, an eight round marathon which was won by South Korea's Na Rin An. Dryburgh was one of 46 players - 13 of them European - to earn full tour cards.

In the Bag

Kevin Na

QBE Shootout

Driver - Callaway Epic Speed Triple Diamond (8.5 degrees)

3-wood - Callaway Epic Speed Triple Diamond 3+ (14 degrees)

5-wood - Callaway Epic Speed Triple Diamond (18 degrees)

Hybrid - PXG 0317 X Gen 2 (19 degrees)

Irons - Callaway Rogue Pro (4), Callaway Apex Pro 16 (5-PW)

Wedges - Callaway Mack Daddy 4 (54 degrees), Vokey Design Prototype (60 degrees)

Putter - Odyssey Toulon Madison

Know the Rules

Q - In strokeplay, a player's ball comes to rest on a gravel surfaced road. He is entitled to relief from the road but decides to play the ball as it lies. He removes some gravel that might interfere with his stroke. What is the ruling?

A - There is no penalty. Gravel is a loose impediment and a player may remove loose impediments without penalty anywhere on the course under Rule 15.1

Philip Reid

Philip Reid

Philip Reid is Golf Correspondent of The Irish Times