Tiger Woods at PNC Championship: ‘It was awesome to be out here playing’

Woods is competing with his 12-year-old son, Charlie, in the $1 million PNC Championship at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club Orlando, Grande Lakes in Florida, this weekend. The tournament is a two person, 36-hole competition partnering champions with their family members.

The first day of the tournament has ended with Woods and Charlie trailing clubhouse leaders Stewart and Reagan Cink by three strokes with a Saturday opening round of 10-under 62.

The pair, known for their similar mannerisms from their swing to their celebrations, made a birdie putt — one stroke under par — on the first hole.
“Although it’s been a long and challenging year, I am very excited to close it out by competing in the @PNCchampionship with my son Charlie,” Woods, 45, said on Twitter. “I’m playing as a Dad and couldn’t be more excited and proud.”

A big crowd surrounded the legend as he teed off, cheering him on and welcoming him back after he was seriously injured when the Genesis SUV he was driving veered off the road in February.

On Friday, Woods and Charlie spent the day on the course ahead of the tournament.

“It was an awesome day,” Woods told reporters Friday. “It was just awesome to be out here playing and be out there with my son, and we just had an absolute blast.”

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Woods, the winner of 82 PGA Tour titles, including 15 major championships, said he still has the hands and the feel for the game, but endurance is the biggest issue since the wreck that caused multiple fractures to his right leg.

“Unfortunately, this year has been very hard, and I hadn’t been able to play at all until, I think this might be my second or third round this year. So it has been a long year.”

Woods used a golf cart to get around the course Friday, which no golfer is allowed to do on the PGA Tour.

“I’m a long way away from playing tournament golf,” Woods said. “This is hit, hop in a cart.”

The golf superstar said after spending three months in bed, he worked every day to play again.

In an exclusive interview with Golf Digest last month, Woods said his days as a full-time golfer are over.

“Something that is realistic is playing the tour one day, never full time, ever again, but pick and choose, just like Mr. (Ben) Hogan did,” Woods told interviewer Henni Koyack.

“Pick and choose a few events a year and you play around that. You practice around that, and you gear yourself up for that. And you play. I think that’s how I’m going to have to play it from now on.”

The Woods duo finished seventh last year, and today, Charlie led the way, especially on the back nine, when the duo birdied three consecutive holes.

Justin Thomas and his father Mike seek to become the fourth duo to successfully defend the PNC Championship title after winning last year.

Correction: A previous version of this story misstated Tiger Woods’ age. He is 45.

CNN’s Holden Perrelli, Andy Sholes, Patrick Sung and John Sinnott contributed to this report.

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