This is the one thing Charlie Woods has that young Tiger Woods didn’t
Tiger Woods was handed a smartphone, was told to tap the screen and when he did, both the screen and his face lit up. There the 15-time major champion was, hitting, pausing on the backswing, then leaning over on his right leg to pick up his tee. And club twirling. And fist-pumping. And there was his son, Charlie, hitting, pausing on the backswing, then leaning over on his right leg to pick up his tee. And club twirling. And fist-pumping. The PGA Tour had put together the video soon after Charlie’s appearance at last year’s PNC Championship, it logged over 75 million views (!), and now it was getting another.
“Oh, that’s awesome,” said Woods during the video — of him watching a video.
Like father, like son. But, as Woods confessed Friday, maybe even more spectacular is where Charlie is unlike dad.
After his pro-am at this year’s PNC, where the elder Woods will be playing his first competitive golf since his car crash in late February, he was asked of his and his son’s mannerisms. And while similar, it wouldn’t quite be the same if you dialed it back, say, 33 years ago. To when Woods was 12, or Charlie’s age.
“Well, I didn’t have speed like that at that age,” Woods said. “I was probably a little bit taller than Charlie is at that same age. I was skinny as a rail. I looked like a 1-iron. The way we move, the way we push off or — sorry, the way he pushes off, or how I used to push off, very similar.
“But that’s what is neat about this event. You look at the history of the event and you look at mannerisms of the father and the child — to me, the best of all time is watching the Stadlers play. I mean, that’s just the absolute best: The frustrations, the enjoyment, the cup throws, everything about it, that was the best.
“Just the little quirks that we have as — we don’t realize that we have the quirks that we do, but our kids copy them. That’s what they have seen us do, and you know, this event throughout the years, you put a highlight package, you see all the different quirks that the parents have that the child has definitely picked up.”
Notably, a year ago at the parent-child PNC, not only did the younger Woods make his television debut, but the elder Woods played in his last event before first back surgery, then the crash. Tiger Woods was also asked about the timeline of his return and “how much of that was because Charlie wanted to or because of the unique tournament that it is.”
“I think it’s just being able to have the bonding experience of being out there with Charlie,” Woods said. “Unfortunately this year has been very hard, and I haven’t been able to play at all until — this would be probably my second or third round this year. It’s been a long year. But just the fact that I’m able to play and have this experience with him and watch him, watch him hit shots or encourage him to hit shots, where to think — that’s one thing I can do, I can think my way around the golf course.
“I may not be able to execute it, but I can help strategize some of his shots, how to hit it, things of that nature and make sure that he’s in his little bubble and he’s having fun.”