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Biggest In Golfing History: Tiger Woods just made a season-ending ‘hit-and-giggle’

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With all due respect to the gentlefolk at Global Home, the PGA Tour’s gleaming new HQ off A1A in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., here’s a top-9 list* with street cred, a ranking of golf’s biggest events, men’s division:

Tiger Woods could be a case study for the Harvard Business School, a flesh-and-blood example of the basic laws of supply and demand. There has never been very much supply of him — maybe 18 events a year in the best of times. And since 2014? Barely half that, on average. It does not matter how he plays, or what kind of shape he’s in: If Tiger is in the flesh, making the scene, your event gets a booster rocket. Woods played Hilton Head only once, in 1999. That was something. A T-18 finish and he never came back.

You should have seen Jay Monahan, the PGA Tour commissioner, in 2019, in a cold, damp press tent at Riviera, sitting beside Woods at the Tour’s venerable Los Angeles stop, the L.A. Open, now known as the Genesis Invitational. This was on the day when Monahan announced that Woods would become, in effect, the tournament host. You could almost see the adrenaline coursing through the commissioner’s neck veins. He had a partnership with one of the greatest athletes ever, any sport, right up there with Secretariat and Lionel Messi and Joe Louis.

Woods once arranged for his soccer-loving kids to meet Messi. Afterward, Tiger said to his daughter, Sam, “Isn’t it neat to be a living legend?”

“Yes,” Sam said. “We live with one.”

And it’s true. Say whatever you want and whatever you will about Tiger Woods, he’s a living legend. He’ll be a legend forever.

Off Course with Claude Harmon: What Bubba Watson learned from Tiger Woods
The two friends used to play practice rounds until Woods said he didn’t ask enough questions! Bubba shares the lessons he picked up from playing together and being around the 15 major winner.

Monahan knew then that the Genesis event now had a cemented place in the firmament, like those eternal star-dipped handprints and footprints on the sidewalks of Hollywood. And that he had done things in his life that put him at the same table with Tiger Woods.

The committee will now take five minutes to consider whether the Genesis Invitational should be in the top-9. Weirdly, it’s one of the few events on Tour that Tiger has played repeatedly and not won. The only other is the Honda Classic, played in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. He grew up in Southern California. He lives in South Florida. Coincidence?

When you think about it, three of these nine ranked tournaments — the PNC Championship, the Presidents Cup and the Hero World Challenge — are, as we say in the trade, Tiger-dependent. When Tiger Woods plays in these events, or even shows up after a lengthy absence, their places are secure on the list. And when he does not?

Eh-schmeh-meh.

The 2017 Hero World Championship was much-watch golf because Woods was playing in an event for the first time since his Memorial Day 2017 roadside arrest.

The 2019 Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne was must-watch golf because Woods was the U.S. playing captain, pairing himself with his close, personal friend Justin Thomas.

And the 2021 PNC Championship — a “hit and giggle” in Woods’ parlance — will be must-watch TV because Woods is playing with his 12-year-old son. Charlie is his given name. He doesn’t look like a Charles. Charlie Brown doesn’t, either. Neither did Charles M. Schulz, Charlie Brown’s de facto father. Schulz was a regular at Bing Crosby’s Pebble Beach pro-am.

Snoopy: “No, the big question is, Does the rake go inside the bunker or outside the bunker?”

The PNC Championship, which has a two-day pro-am, will mark the first time Woods has played in any sort of tournament since last year’s PNC Championship, held at a resort course in Orlando in the shadows of a Ritz-Carlton hotel.

Which means, of course, that this year’s PNC Championship will also be the first event Woods has played since his frightening, life-changing single-vehicle car crash in Los Angeles on Feb. 23.

In announcing his decision to play, Woods said via Twitter, “Though it’s been a long and challenging year, I am very excited to close it out by competing in the PNC Championship with my son Charlie. I’m playing as a Dad and couldn’t be more excited and proud.”

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Although it’s been a long and challenging year, I am very excited to close it out by competing in the @PNCchampionship with my son Charlie. I’m playing as a Dad and couldn’t be more excited and proud.

If last year’s form holds (and it likely will; Tiger is a creature of habit and he surely dictated various terms of his participation), Woods and his son will play alongside Mike and Justin Thomas in the pro-am rounds and in the first round of the 36-hole event, to be played on Saturday, Dec. 18.

The event, by the way, is owned jointly by IMG and NBC Sports. Its czar is Alastair Johnston, a Scotsman, a golf-history buff, an IMG lifer and Arnold Palmer’s longtime business manager. Johnston, who lived for some years near Woods in the Isleworth development, outside Orlando, oversaw the recruitment of Woods to IMG in the mid-1990s.

Soon after Charlie’s birth, Johnston began a running joke with Woods, a countdown to when Charlie would be old enough to participate in the event. Arnold Palmer was one of the developers behind Isleworth and the Arnold Palmer Invitational has been on NBC for decades. Also, Arnold pretty much put the PNC, first played in 1995, on the golfing off-season calendar. He played for some years with Sam Saunders, his grandson.

Yes, this is another entry in a composition book hand-labeled with these words: The Cloistered World of Professional Golf.

The invisible subhead: This is how we do it, baby.

For the second and final round, on Sunday, the 20 PNC teams will be paired by score. Last year, Mike Thomas, a club pro and teacher, and Justin Thomas, the reigning Players champion, won the event. Tiger and Charlie finished seventh, one spot ahead of John Daly and his sweet-swinging son, Little John, no longer little. JD2 plays golf at Arkansas. He’s laid off at the top, like they all are these days, and flat-out kills it. JD his own self is surely still mourning the death earlier this year of Dusty Hill of ZZ Top. Last year, at the PNC, JD was sporting a white beard that Hill would have recognized for its spectacular outlaw spirit.

Part of Tiger’s attraction to Justin Thomas is that he’s a pro’s pro, literally and otherwise. Not an outlaw. Thomas is an only child, as is Tiger. Tiger always liked John Daly but they didn’t go out for dinner, and when Daly tried to reach out to Woods in Tiger’s time of need, the calls went unanswered. JD called TW BJ, for Black Jesus. Daly doesn’t do politically correct which is why Tiger likes him and avoids him. Nike products are for everybody.

“The Thomases and the Woodses are like family,” Woods said in a recent Golf Digest video interview, conducted by Henni Zuël Koyack, golfer turned broadcaster and a skillful Woods whisperer. “JT is like the brother I never had and Charlie is like the brother JT never had.”

Tiger has two half-brothers, Earl Woods Jr. and Kevin Woods, now in their 60s, from his father’s first marriage, but he didn’t grow up with them. He has a half-sister, too.

In other starring roles, at the PNC, you might see Jani Thomas, Mike’s wife, caddying for her husband. Also, Joe LaCava caddying for Tiger and Jim “Bones” Mackay, in his new gig, caddying for Thomas. And, in a cameo, Joe’s son (Joe Jr.) caddying for Charlie.

This PNC Championship is one that gets Tiger smack-dab in his comfort zone. Like his practice rounds at Augusta with Fred Couples and, in more recent years, Thomas, who actually talks publicly about Charlie, which tells you something about his relationship with Tiger: Tiger trusts him.

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Lindsey Vonn on Her Relationship With Tiger Woods and His Recovery: ‘ I Am Just Happy That He Is Back With His Kids’

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Tiger Woods is debatably one of the greatest golfers of all time. Woods is an 82-time PGA Tour winner and a 15-time major Championship winner, who is currently on a road to return to the professional game. Apart from golf, Tiger has always been in the news with respect to his relationships.

Moreover, Tiger’s ex-girlfriend Lindsey Vonn spoke about Tiger and her past relationships in a recent interview with ET.

Lindsey Vonn on Tiger Woods
Lindsey Caroline Vonn is an American-based former World Cup alpine skier for the US team. She won four world championships and is only the second women skier to do so. She won three consecutive championships from 2008, 2009,2010, and her last one in the year 2012. Lindsey is also a former Olympic skier. Apart from being a world-class skier, she was in limelight because of her relationship with Tiger Woods. The duo dated from 2012 to 2015.

Watch this story: Honorary starters at the 2022 Masters Tournament; Tom Watson, Gary Player, and Jack Nicklaus.

Tiger Woods has been in the news for his relationships for quite some time now. He married Elin Nordegren in 2004 but unfortunately, they got divorced after six years of their marriage in 2010. Tiger has been with Erica Herman for four years, they made their relationship public at the 2017 Presidents Cup in New Jersey.

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As for Vonn, here’s what she said about Woods in a recent interview: “We are friends and, of course, I’m happy that he is back and healthy,” she says of their relationship and Woods’ recent car accident and recovery. “And, you know, it was a tough time for him. So I am just happy that he is back with his kids.”

Tiger Woods made probably one of the most miraculous comebacks into golf in 2021 at the 2021 PNC Championship. Tiger who is 46 years old met with an accident in February 2021. Woods played the tournament with his 12-year-old son Charlie Axel Woods. The father-son duo finished with an overall score of 25 under par at second position.

Watch this story: The Ridiculous Amount of Things You Can Buy With Tiger Woods’ Insane Net Worth: 200 Million Golf Balls, PNC Purse for 737 Years, and More

When will Tiger fully resume his operations at the PGA Tour? Let us know your suggestions in the comments.

Bazif Qadri is a Golf writer at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing BSC Economics Hons, Bazif is a golf enthusiast. Not only a fan, but he is also an avid golfer himself.

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Wall-to-Wall Equipment: How a 2016 Tiger interview netted Charlie Woods a special Scotty Cameron putter

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Welcome to Wall-to-Wall Equipment, the Monday morning gear wrap-up in which GOLF equipment editor Jonathan Wall takes you through the latest trends, rumors and breaking news.

 

 

This one’s for you, kid
By this point, you’ve probably heard the story, but it bears repeating if you don’t follow Tiger Woods’ every move in the equipment space.

In the days leading up to the 2016 Hero World Challenge, the 15-time major winner was discussing his putter studio, when the conversation shifted to his putter collection. More specifically, the putters a young Charlie Woods was allowed to roll putts with in the home studio.

“Charlie knows there are two putters he can’t touch,” Woods said. “There’s the black one I won with the Teryllium insert. I won the Masters in ’97 with it and this Scotty Cameron. They sit next to each other. Touch any other putter, do anything you want with any other putter. But these putters are off-limits.”
In other words: Sorry, Charlie.

Scotty Cameron still recalls Woods’ answer to the question — and what he did next for Charlie.

“The next day, I went to the shop and created a putter for Charlie,” Cameron told GOLF.com during a recent putter chat. “On the sole, I stamped: By Scotty, Made Only for Charlie.”

Cameron confirmed it was not the putter Charlie used just last month at the PNC Championship, but a production model with his name stamped on the head. Even still, the putter represented three generations of Woods who’ve used his putters going back to when Tiger put one in play for the first time in the mid 90s.

“I turned 60 this year, which blows my mind,” Cameron said. “In addition to Tiger, I remember making putters for Earl. [Tiger] and I would be hanging out in the shop, and he’d ask me if I could make a putter for ‘Pops.’ That’s now three generations of the Woods family.”

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According to Cameron, he had no idea Charlie was going to show up with one of his putters until early in the week at the PNC Championship when he received confirmation from his Tour team that the youngster was carrying a backup version of Tiger’s famed Newport 2 GSS.

“I asked them if it was the putter we made for Charlie, and they confimed it was one of Tiger’s backups,” Cameron said.

From there, Cameron’s Tour team took the putter to the truck, where it was cut down to Charlie’s length and a new grip was added. Slight modifications were also made to the head to make it feel heavier due to the shorter length.
“You don’t hand down irons, wedges or drivers — but you do hand down putters,” said Cameron. “For that to happen naturally — it wasn’t forced — was so cool.”
A secret no more

Speaking of Cameron, the putter designer unveiled a new Phantom X putter at the Sony Open. The overall look is Futura-esque, but shaping falls more in line with what we’ve seen from the recent Phantom X line extension.

Cameron usually offers gearheads a peek at the upcoming retail line when the Tour restarts in Hawaii, so expect to hear more about these putters in the near future.

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Tiger Woods has shocking revelation about his car crash

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Tiger Woods suffered serious injuries when he was involved in a single-car accident earlier this year, and the 15-time major champion confirmed on Tuesday that he is fortunate he did not lose a limb.

Tiger spoke with the media for the first time since the crash ahead of the Hero World Challenge, which is a tournament he hosts. He was asked by a reporter how close he was to losing a leg, and he said amputation was “on the table” at one point.

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Woods suffered severe fractures to his lower-left leg. There were questions about whether he would ever walk again, let alone play golf. Tiger said he feels fortunate to be alive and still have both of his legs.

Tiger shed some light on his comeback plans during an in-depth interview this week. What he said makes even more sense now that we know he nearly lost a leg.

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