MIAMI (AFP) — Tiger Woods and son Charlie, trying to improve on their runner-up finish of last year, were chasing Justin Thomas and his dad, Mike, in the PNC Championship family golf tournament on Saturday.
The Thomases, who won the light-hearted 36-hole scramble at the Ritz-Carlton in Orlando, Florida, in 2020, was atop the leaderboard after combining for two eagles and 11 birdies in a 15-under par 57.
The Woods family shared second on 13-under with former Masters champion Vijay Singh and his son, Qass Singh.
As it has been since they made their debut in 2020, the spotlight was on the Woods duo, with 15-time major champion Tiger nursing plantar fasciitis in his right foot and 13-year-old Charlie limping slightly on an “iffy” ankle.
Neither was deterred and after a birdie at the second, they caught fire with eight holes of birdie or better on the fourth through 11th.
That included Tiger chipping in for an eagle at the par-five fifth.
They added another pair of birdies at the 13th and 14th before Charlie rolled in a birdie putt at the last for their share of second.
“We had a blast slaying it today,” Tiger Woods said. “All day we were after it, and we didn’t get off to a great start but we made some birdies, an eagle and got rolling and really got into it, which was awesome.”
“It was very similar to the feeling we had last year on Sunday,” Woods added. “We just got rolling. I had a little bit of a chip-in and all of a sudden a couple of putts fell, and we were just trying to give ourselves as many opportunities as getting in the fairway, iron shots, and putts, and we just got rolling.”
Playing alongside good family friends Justin and Mike Thomas made for plenty of laughter and quite a bit of needling, with Woods acknowledging that their friendly rivalry made for extra motivation.
“Absolutely,” he said. “They got the belt (awarded as a trophy) a couple of years ago. They rubbed it in our faces over Christmas dinner.”
“They are in a great position to possibly do it again on Christmas dinner, but we are going to have a little something to say about that.”
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.
The plantar fasciitis that flared up in his right foot has complicated his preparations for 2023, and he said he still can’t predict a schedule although he hopes to play all four majors.