Orlando, Fla. – Tiger Woods may not be ready for tour-level golf. He can still perform very well.
In a remarkable comeback from a car accident 10 months ago that badly damaged his right leg, Woods and 12-year-old son Charlie set a tournament record with 11 straight birdies and beat John Daly and his college son on Sunday. Pushed all the way to the finish. at the PNC Championship
Daly and John Daly II, a freshman from Arkansas, scored 57 runs in the scramble format and won by two shots. It was probably the widest Woods smiled after the runner-up finish.
“The fact that I’ve been able to have this opportunity this year — even a few weeks ago we didn’t really know whether I would or not,” Woods said. “But here we are. And we had the best time ever.”
The birdie streak began on the seventh hole when Woods hit the half-wedge in the foot. Charlie drilled a 10-foot hole on the next hole, leaning to pick up the marker before the ball came into the cup, another moment where the confident son looked like his father.
It was such that over the past two hours, Woods would often hit the main shackles and make Charlie putts. After the birdie on the 14th, they had the lead for a while and by the end the margins were very low.
Daly, playing two groups behind, birdied the 16th hole and regained the lead. When Team Woods chipped a very strong one on the par-5 closing hole and each of them missed an 8-foot birdie put, he and his son stayed in the front. He scored 57 runs with only four pars, two of which were on par 5.
“We thought we’d have to birdie every hole in the last nine, and that’s how it turned out,” Woods said. “But man, what a blast it was. We just had a blast all day.”
Daly and Son took two wickets each for the birdie on the 18th and set the record that mattered. They finished at 27-under par, breaking a mark set by Davis Love III and his son three years earlier.
“Yesterday, that was all that. I hit really bad,” Daly said. “I hit some good shots at the end. He played incredible. I played a little better today. I made him happy.”
The most famous encounter between Woods and Daly took place in 2005 at a World Golf Championship at Harding Park, which ended in a playoff when Daly made a three-putt from 15 feet.
Woods was in charge again – not leaving Tiger and Charlie – except for Team Daly. Daly hit a 7-iron in the air at short range for a birdie on the 16th, and he coaxed into a 4-foot par put on the 17th to stay ahead.
The most popular off-season event in which the leading champion and a family member suddenly feels tense on a hot Florida afternoon, all because of Woods and everything that caused him to play again.
Woods suffered multiple injuries to his right leg on February 23, when his SUV was traveling at about 85 mph and crashed down a hill in a Los Angeles suburb.
He said amputation was a possibility. It took him three months to stand on his feet with the help of crutches. And he ended the year in Sunday’s red shirt, holding birdie putts and delivering short irons, giving one birdie after another and a chase that felt like old times.
It wasn’t just about Woods. His son, playing the event for the second year in a row, carried the stuff down the stretch, especially 5 to 4 feet in a par-3 17th place, which gave him a tie going down to 18th.
Team Daily held it steady behind them.
It was only a month ago that Woods first posted a three-second video that showed him wielding a small iron with the message, “making progress.” He was hitting the balls behind the range at Albany in the Bahamas two weeks ago. He was able to take a carriage ride at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club Orlando, which helped him reach the 36-hole event on a flat course.
He insisted that playing at a high level against the best players in the world still has a long way to go and he has a lot of work ahead of him.
But there was no shortage of hopes for birdies, big shots, and the fairy tale ending.
“Competitive juices, they’re never going away,” Woods said. “It’s my environment. That’s what I’ve done all my life. I’m so grateful to be able to have the opportunity to do it again.”
“Earlier this year didn’t start very well and it didn’t look great,” he said. “But in the last few weeks, we have had the opportunity to work as hard as the last seven months … and to be able to play with my son and keep these memories, it’s worth all the pain.”