Tiger Woods is going to close out this harrowing year on a heartwarming note, as nearly losing his right leg in a dangerous car accident in February, Tiger Woods finally announced on Wednesday that he is all set to play in the 2021 PNC Championship in Orlando on December 18-19 along with his son, Charlie.
The father-son duo teamed up together last December as well, and that was the last time Tiger Woods faced any such kind of competitive environment. In January, as the PGA Tour season started once again, Tiger Woods had an additional back surgery, and in February, his Los Angeles car wreck left him in a hospital bed, which extended for nearly a month. Well it has to be said that the weeks since then have been a long, slow march until this special moment.
Last week, Woods said at the Hero World Challenge that he was not sure when he would be able to play PGA Tour golf again. And while this is not a PGA Tour event, still this event will be an important step forward in his recovery process.
“As far as playing at the Tour level, I don’t know when that’s going to happen,” said Woods. “Now, I’ll play a round here or there, a little hit and giggle, I can do something like that. I certainly like … the USGA suggested Play It Forward. I really like that idea now. I don’t like the tees on the back. I like Play It Forward. … To see some of my shots fall out of the sky a lot shorter than they used to is a little eye-opening, but at least I’m able to do it again. That’s something that for a while there it didn’t look like I was going to.”
Team Woods finished 7th in a field of 20 at this event, as Charlie carried the team in his first big public appearance, and the entire week was a delight. Well, it was really unexpected back then that we wouldn’t see Woods swing a golf club in a tournament, like in any kind of tournament, for another 12 months?
This year’s field will include Henrik and Karl Stenson, Nick and Matthew Faldo, Nelly and Petr Korda, Bubba Watson and Wayne Ball, Justin and Mike Thomas (who won last year), and John and Little John Daly.
“For [me to conceivably win again], I have a long way to go. I have a long way in the rehab process of this leg and it’s not the fun stuff of the rehab,” said Woods. “It’s just reps and breaking up scar tissue and things that really hurt. So that part of it’s not going to be fun, but the challenge of it is. I enjoy the challenge of getting in there and trying to push it to the next level, sometimes it’s two steps forward, one step back, but you’ve got to go through it. I enjoy that part of it, and maybe one day it will be good enough where I can get out here and I can compete against these best players in the world again.”
Tiger Woods announced that he will play competitive golf for the first time after he met with a car accident in February.
There were rumors that he might be alongside Charlie in Orlando this week for a laid-back outing. While they seemed a tad far-fetched, they were also not implausible, and especially considering how he was seen on the range at the Hero often.
“Now, internally, I haven’t reached that point. I haven’t proven it to myself that I can do it [at the PGA Tour level],” said Woods. “I can show up here and I can host an event, I can play a par-3 course, I can hit a few shots, I can chip and putt, but we’re talking about going out there and playing against the world’s best on the most difficult golf courses under the most difficult conditions. I’m so far from that.”
Woods may use a cart in Orlando, and though he will receive much attention early on, Charlie may once again steal the show. It will surely be a sweet ending to what has likely been one of the more challenging years of Woods’ life. Tiger has always stirred up so many things for us to celebrate,like major wins, tournament wins, preposterous moments. While none of his shots at the tournament will matter from an historical perspective, this will be two of the most meaningful days of his ridiculous career.