On December 19, 2020, sports fans may have witnessed the happiest version of Tiger Woods to ever grace a golf course.
No, he wasn’t sinking a putt to win the Masters. He wasn’t putting on a green jacket, or hoisting another major tournament trophy in front of his peers.
Somehow, in a tournament with no true stakes, Woods was able to hit the peak of happiness. Less than a week before Christmas Day, Woods looked like he had received the best gift a man could ever ask for.
Just 11 days before his birthday, the 44-year-old legend was able to compete in a tournament alongside his son, Charlie.
Stepping onto the course at the PNC Championship in Orlando, the 11-year-old heir of golf royalty had fans grinning from ear to ear, pondering what the future will look like when Charlie ascends the professional throne in a few years.
If Charlie’s play to start the PNC Championship was any indication, that future looks exceptionally bright as the Woods family looks to extend its legacy for decades to come.
The young Charlie smashed a 5-wood en route to an eagle putt, and remained calm and collected under the spotlight as he sunk high-pressure putt after high-pressure putt throughout the day.
He was obliterating drives (from his own tee box), and doing the equivalent of a basketball player walking away from a three-pointer before the shot even went in.
The 11-year-old was even hitting better shots than his father, the duo’s professional playing partner in Justin Thomas, and Thomas’ father Mike, as well. Through it all, Charlie was even epitomizing the phrase “Like father, like son,” as he walked in putts and hit his dad’s signature club twirl on his follow-through.
And, to top it all off, he was having all the fun in the world, mixing in some trash talk towards Team Thomas after a bunker-bound shot.
Charlie looked so much like his father throughout the entire day, showing the Tiger-esque lack of emotion when hitting picture-perfect shots, while simultaneously expecting more from himself whenever he misread a putt or hit a bad ball.
He displayed tons of confidence and poise, all more than two months before his 12th birthday.
It’s crazy to think that Charlie still has around 10 years to go until he reaches the age his father was when he won his first green jacket at the Masters. It’s even crazier to think about the potential young Charlie has, and what his resume could look like by the time he reaches his dad’s current age of 44.
Will he follow in his father’s footsteps and win five Masters championships? Could he win more? Could he match Tiger’s 15 major wins, or even surpass it and inch closer to Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18?
No one truly knows yet, and it seems ridiculous to be debating something like that while discussing an 11-year-old.
But, just like LeBron James and his son Bronny, the dynamic duo of Tiger Woods and his son Charlie is just what golf needs as the sport builds towards its bright future.