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Tiger Woods’ return to golf: Why PNC Championship is ‘perfect situation’ for him to compete again | Golf News



Nick Dougherty

Golf Expert

Tiger Woods to compete alongside his son, Charlie, at the PNC Championship this weekend, his first appearance since sustaining serious leg and ankle injuries in February’s car crash – watch live this weekend on Sky Sports Golf.

Last Updated: 15/12/21 10:51am

Tiger Woods hasn't played in a competitive event since last year's PNC Championship

Tiger Woods hasn’t played in a competitive event since last year’s PNC Championship

Nick Dougherty looks ahead to Tiger Woods’ return to action at the PNC Championship and explains why his latest comeback is beneficial to the golfing world.

It’s immensely exciting to see Tiger back in action this week, because a lot of us didn’t think it would ever happen.

I’ve always tried not to pre-empt what will happen with Tiger, because he’s forever showing us that he will do things we won’t expect. That’s not just because of how he plays the game, but what he’s capable of mentally to come back from all the injuries and the personal setbacks that he has done.

Tiger Woods discusses the experience of hitting drivers on the range at the Hero World Challenge and his recovery from injury.

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Tiger Woods discusses the experience of hitting drivers on the range at the Hero World Challenge and his recovery from injury.

Tiger Woods discusses the experience of hitting drivers on the range at the Hero World Challenge and his recovery from injury.

This latest recovery felt different from any of his past experiences as, from what we all heard, I don’t think anyone truly expected him to come back. The injuries were so bad that even the likelihood of him walking again was questioned, but as per usual he has been ahead of the scale.

To see him out there hitting shots and moving well, like we did at the Hero World Challenge, has made us feel so much more optimistic. It’s going to be great to see him out competing again and doing what we have loved watching him do for all these decades.

Tiger Woods and his son, Charlie, finished seventh at the 2020 PNC Championship

Tiger Woods and his son, Charlie, finished seventh at the 2020 PNC Championship

Just watching him swing a club in a tournament environment is going to be amazing. We’re hoping to see him have a good time and we’re expecting him to hit some great shots. He may hit some clangers and be shorter than he used to be, but not as short as he is telling us. He is the master of under-playing everything, as that’s a great coping mechanism for taking pressure off.

This week will mean so much to Tiger because I’m not sure he knew whether he’d be able to compete with Charlie again. He’s known for a while that he’s going to be able to swing and hit, but to be able to go out and do it is entirely different. It can be difficult to entice him to play regular PGA Tour events, so there’s no doubt that this week is for Charlie.

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Without putting on an immense amount of pressure, I can’t see a world where Charlie Woods doesn’t end up as a Tour player, if he chooses that path. This sounds ridiculous when looking at a 12-year-old, but when you look at his swing, the background he has and the support he has, it makes sense.

It may seem obscene to say that of someone so young, but I think Tiger recognises Charlie’s potential and he wants to allow that to blossom. That would give him a huge amount of satisfaction to be part of.

Could Charlie Woods play on the PGA Tour in the future?

Could Charlie Woods play on the PGA Tour in the future?

From what I’ve seen, he seems to get a huge amount of joy from being alongside Charlie to watch him play and compete. To have something that gives Tiger some sort of normality in his life is immensely important to him, which must be a reason why he has put so much effort to make this a chance for him to go and play.

The PNC Championship is not trying to win The Masters or putting him in the big arena again. It’s essentially a jolly, but I think it means a lot to him and – all things considered – it’s the perfect situation for his return.

Watch Tiger Woods’ return at the PNC Championship this weekend live on Sky Sports. Live coverage begins on Saturday from 6.30pm on Sky Sports Golf.





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