Tiger Woods rejected using a golf cart in favour of walking on Friday during a pro-am round at the PNC Championship, feeling fit as he regains his form for 2024.
The 15-time Major winner and his 14-year-old son Charlie will play in the 36-hole PNC Championship this weekend at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Orlando, Florida.
Woods, who turns 48 on 30 December, has struggled to walk during competitive rounds since a 2021 car crash in which he suffered severe leg injuries.
Until finishing 18th in the 20-man Hero World Challenge two weeks ago, Woods had not played since The Masters after undergoing ankle surgery last April.
“I felt like I was physically fit to do it [walk], and also, walking is always better for my back,” Woods said. “I just wanted to keep it loose and keep it going and we’re just having so much fun, it doesn’t really matter. We had a good time doing it.”
It will be the fourth time that Team Woods attempt to take the title against other PGA Tour stars and their family members.
“It’s a blast for us to be back out here, playing and competing and just enjoying this atmosphere,” Woods said. “Hopefully we’re able to post something good.”
Woods said he was feeling well and not as rusty as at the World Challenge in the Bahamas earlier this month.
“Definitely a bit better,” Woods said. “I was able to knock a lot of the rust off there at Hero and my hands felt better with control hitting shots, and especially today with the wind blowing as hard as it was, I was able to hit flighted shots nicely.”
Charlie Woods has won a state high-school title and given his father a new challenge as the parent of a talented young golfer.
“I provide guardrails for him and things that I would like to see him learn and address, but also, then again, I’m trying to provide as much space as I can for him,” the elder Woods said.
“There’s so much of the noise in our lives that people are always trying to get stuff out of us, and my job as a parent is to protect him from a lot of that stuff.”
Rival Justin Thomas, a two-time Major winner, said a win by Woods and son would be extra special.
“In meaning, it would be No 1 for special,” Thomas said. “Winning Majors is unbelievable and how he has won his Majors, but doing that together with Charlie and as he’s watched him grow up, it would be a very different kind of win that doesn’t maybe come with the record books and history and whatnot.”
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