MIAMI (AFP) — Tiger Woods will play alongside his 13-year-old son Charlie this weekend at the PNC Championship even though the 15-time major winner said Friday it could delay his injury recovery.
The 36-hole parent-child golf event will be played Saturday and Sunday at the Ritz-Carlton in Orlando, Florida. It will be the third consecutive start for the Woods duo, 2021 runners-up.
“Any time I get a chance to spend time with my son, it’s always special,” Woods said. “The last couple years have been magical. We’re looking forward to it.”
Woods said playing the event might set back his recovery from the plantar fasciitis in his right foot that caused him to miss his Bahamas invitational earlier this month.
“I don’t really care about that,” Woods said. “I think being there alongside my son is far more important, and get to have a chance to have this experience with him is far better than my foot being a little creaky.”
Woods, who turns 47 on 30 December, has played only nine competitive rounds this year as he recovered from severe leg injuries suffered in a 2021 car crash.
After finishing 47th at the Masters in his comeback event, Woods withdrew after three rounds at the PGA Championship with leg pain and missed the cut in July at the British Open at St. Andrews.
“I played more this year than I certainly thought at the beginning of the year,” Woods said. “But I got the chance to play in three major championships. That’s far, far more than what I had expected going into the year. So it has been a positive.”
Woods is uncertain of his 2023 plans but hopes for a return to the majors.
“If I didn’t have the plantar feeling like this, I’d have a better idea,” Woods said. “I’m supposed to be resting this thing and stretching and letting it heal. But I’m not doing that at the moment.”
Woods, whose 82 PGA Tour wins equals Sam Snead for the all-time record, played in a 12-hole exhibition match with carts last weekend but still struggles to walk 18 holes.
“This off-season hasn’t really been an off-season. I’ve kind of ramped things up,” Woods said. “But after this, come Monday, we shut it all down and take care of this foot so that I can ramp up properly.”
“I can practice. I just can’t walk… I can hit golf balls. I can do all that. I can hit shots around the green. I just can’t get from point A to point B.”
Charlie Woods tweaked his ankle Friday, giving him a limp to match that of his father, but the PNC allows players to use golf carts.
“We’ll be ready come game time,” Woods said.
Three-time major winner Padraig Harrington, a PNC entrant with his son, says Woods will win another major.
“I’m not saying he ‘could be’ — I actually believe he will be a danger. I think he’ll win another major,” Harrington said. “I genuinely think he will be in contention.”
The 51-year-old Irishman liked what he saw from Woods in The Match exhibition even though Woods didn’t win a hole.
“You never doubt Tiger’s mental ability,” Harrington said. “He looked better physically at that match… he might be in a better place than I had thought.”
Only two golfers as old as Woods is now have ever won major titles — Julius Boros at the 1968 PGA Championship at age 48 and Phil Mickelson at age 50 in last year’s PGA Championship.