The debut of Tiger Woods and his son, Charlie Woods, teaming up in Florida last month was without question the biggest talker from the PNC Championship, but Justin Thomas and his dad, Mike, were the ones who walked away with the trophy. And Team Thomas isn’t about to let Team Woods forget.
The winners of the PNC receive matching belts. On Wednesday, speaking at his pre-tournament press conference at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, Thomas was asked if he’s had the chance to rub in the victory yet.
“We have, yes,” Thomas said. “We had dinner with [Tiger] around the holidays and we both wore our belts over there.
“It was great. We would expect them to do the same thing. And, no, I mean, Charlie just kind of laughed when he saw us and Tiger just said, ‘You know, well done, well played.’ And you know, it was all in good fun. But they fully expected it, I think.”
Thomas has become one of Woods’ closest friends, so he’s also gotten to know Woods’ kids well, too. In the lead-up to the event he joked taking on Tiger and 11-year-old Charlie was “going to be our fifth major.”
“For some reason, Charlie just always wants to beat me, it doesn’t matter what it is. Although he’s never beaten me in golf or a putting contest, he still talks trash just like his dad,” Thomas joked at the Mayakoba in early December. “It will be fun. We’ll have that like inner tournament within a tournament, trying to shut his little mouth up, but it will be fun.”
The PNC turned out to be a good one, too. Team Thomas won with a final-round 57, with Team Woods finishing seventh, five back. Charlie’s strong play and Tiger-like swagger captured many headlines. He also had one of the most memorable moments of the week, which also involved Thomas. During the competition, Thomas found the right fairway bunker on the par-4 13th hole. When he got up to his ball, there was a note under it left by Charlie that said “Draw hole!” Apparently Thomas’ dad jokingly left the note for Charlie earlier in the week when he didn’t turn the ball over when he should have.
“He was smart enough to keep the note and use it in the same situation,” Thomas said. “So it was very well played. It was very smart for a kid his age.”
Thomas is the defending champ at the Tournament of Champions, and he’ll tee off in the opening round alongside Dustin Johnson at 5:30 p.m. ET on Thursday.