WATCH: Tiger, Charlie Woods make key eagle amid scorching 9-under stretch
At Tiger and Charlie Woods’ first PNC Championship in 2020, the younger Woods had a career highlight, making his first eagle by himself in the first round.
It started with Tiger roasting his tee shot on the nearly 560-yard par-5 at the Ritz Carlton Golf Club. His opening tee shot last week at The Match VII, which was clocked at 178 mph ball speed, was impressive, but he was clocked at 180 mph Saturday.
His ball speed was even faster than playing partner Justin Thomas, and also 20 yards by the reigning PGA champion, who is 17 years Woods’ junior.
Then Charlie walked, or rather limped, up to the tee. Charlie has a noticeable limp this week and Saturday looked potentially even worse than his father, who is dealing with a bout of plantar fasciitis. Charlie contributed to the team’s first birdie on the second hole, knocking his approach shot stiff and cleaning up the putt, but the pair was unable to birdie the par-5 3rd and Charlie looked uncomfortable after his tee shot on the par-3 4th. But perhaps it was the discomfort on the 5th tee that led to just another in the long list of mannerisms Charlie inherited from his father. Like we’ve seen Tiger do so many times over the years, Charlie started his downswing — and then somehow stopped and backed off the shot.
Impressive for sure, but the reset didn’t help Charlie’s injured foot on the tee shot. The younger Woods nearly shanked his tee shot and fell to the ground in obvious pain. At this point, dad finally welcomed son into his cart and the team gladly played from Tiger’s tee shot from 229 yards.
After Charlie hit a high slice fairway wood — which appeared to be the only way he could shape the ball, unable to turn fully onto his left side — onto the front right part of the green, Tiger hit a majestic high cut with a long iron that landed about pin high and just rolled through the green.
With Tiger’s ball much closer to the hole, they chose to play his chip. But Charlie, still uncomfortable from the tee shot, stubbed his short.
“How the hell can I hit it this bad?” Charlie could be heard saying on the broadcast.
But then Tiger did what Tiger does. Woods’ chip carried a few feet on, bounced twice, checked and rolled into the cup.
The eagle got the team to four under through five holes and completely jump-started the Woods’ opening round. They went nine under in an eight-hole stretch — making seven birdies and the eagle — and turned in the best front-nine score of the tournament to jump into contention. You can follow the round here.