Charlie Woods, the 11-year-old son of the 15-time major champion Tiger, made his national TV debut in an exhibition event in Florida.
And according to his father, he played just like he does at home.
Never mind that he had a gallery of 250 people following, more than his dad had watching him at the Masters. Charlie confidently twirled his club before shots, quickly picked up the tee on his drives and even pumped his fist on the par-5 third hole with a 3-wood into three feet for an eagle.
They finished the PNC Championship scramble format at 10-under 62, four shots behind Matt Kuchar and son Cameron.
“I don't really care about my game,” Woods said. “I'm just making sure that Charlie has the time of his life. And he's doing that.”
Charlie is the youngest to play in the 36-hole event that began in 1995 for major champions and their sons, and now includes all family members. He loves the game enough to start playing in a few junior events, and had no qualms playing before a crowd or the cameras.
A television camera was positioned 15 feet away on the opening tee at The Ritz-Carlton Club at Grande Lakes, and he was a little quick with his swing, pulling it to the left. They used his father's tee shot and wedge into two feet — Charlie made the birdie putt.
That was the last time Team Woods used Tiger's tee shot on a long hole until No 15. It helped that the 11-year-old was able to use a forward tee, 100 yards ahead of the PGA Tour players on some holes.
Woods was not surprised from what he's seen at home. This was different — a tournament with pros, a scorecard that had to be signed, a television audience. But it looked the same.
“I've seen this all along. Probably not a lot of people have,” Woods said.
“A lot of the shots he hit, I've seen them back home this entire year. The junior events he played in, he hit a lot of these. It was a matter of stringing these out for 3 and a half hours. It's a totally different deal.”
The swing was smooth. The mannerisms were familiar. Charlie belted one on the par-5 fifth hole, bending over to grab his tee while the ball was still in flight.
Justin Thomas, playing in the group with his father Mike, smiled and said, “God, you are so much like your dad.”