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Stephen Gallacher column: Charlie Woods stole the show on Tiger’s return

Tiger Woods hugs son Charlie Woods on the 18th green after the second round of the PNC Championship.
Tiger Woods hugs son Charlie Woods on the 18th green after the second round of the PNC Championship.

I have been stuck in the house self-isolating but thankfully there was some very enjoyable golf to keep me entertained.

Watching Tiger Woods and his son Charlie playing together at the PNC Championship in Florida was a real treat.

It was Tiger’s first event since suffering serious injuries in a car accident 10 months ago and we were all desperate to see how he would play.

But his 12-year-old son Charlie stole the show as the pair finished second behind John Daly and his son John Daly II.

I couldn’t believe how much composure Charlie was playing with for someone so young and inexperienced.

It is frightening to see how advanced kids are these days because I could never have done anything like that when I was 12.

I would have struggled to play a medal at my home course and he was contributing to runs of 11 birdies in a row.

If Charlie chooses to pursue a career in golf then he will come under enormous media scrutiny because he is the son of a golfing great but he already looks capable of handling that pressure.

Charlie Woods reacts on the 17th tee as father Tiger Woods watches during the second round of the PNC Championship.

His performance blew me away. He must be the oldest 12-year-old playing golf because he carried himself like someone who had played golf at the highest level for years. It was bizarre.

He is clearly very talented and shared more than a few of his father’s mannerisms on the course.

It was great to see Tiger back on the course and playing well. He was quick to play down his ability to compete on the PGA Tour but it was a very encouraging display for those of us who are eager to see Tiger back at tournaments on a regular basis.

The BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year was also on at the weekend but I was disappointed that Catriona Matthew’s European team was overlooked for their Solheim Cup heroics.

I didn’t understand how the England national team who were beaten in the final of the European Championships won team of the year ahead of them.

To win a Solheim Cup in the United States is very tough and for a Scottish golfer to lead the team to back-to-back successes is a phenomenal achievement.

Tiger Woods fist bumps his son Charlie Woods on the 16th green during the second round of the PNC Championship. 

They deserved to be recognised so I felt for Catriona.

It was one of my real golfing highlights of 2021 along with Phil Mickelson winning the PGA Championship at the age of 50.

It was a great inspiration for an older golfer on tour, such as myself.

Thankfully, my 10-day isolation period is now over but I’m still struggling with the after effects of Covid.

It really floored me but I am hopefully through the worst of it.

Laura shows why you should never give up

Last week I was praising Aberdeen’s Gemma Dryburgh for winning her LPGA Tour card and this week another north-east golfer enjoyed Q School success.

Laura Beveridge’s hopes of making it through Ladies European Tour Q School didn’t look very promising after she opened with a round of 82.

But the Alford golfer fought back and managed to work her way up the leaderboard. Under extreme pressure, Laura didn’t give up.

She would have known there was no room for error after a poor opening round and she performed superbly.

I’m sure she will be relishing her place on the Ladies European Tour in 2022.

It is a tour that is going places as they have a good schedule with more events and the prize money has increased.

The Ladies European Tour is only going to grow in strength and the more Scots we can have playing on the tour the better.

Scotland is up for the Challenge

The return of the Scottish Challenge is great news.

As the Home of Golf, Scotland should always have a Challenge Tour event.

The tour plays such a crucial part in the development of so many European Tour players.

I must applaud Paul Lawrie for the part he has played in helping get this event, the Farmfoods Scottish Challenge supported by the R&A, back on the calendar.

The list of players who have made the step up from the Challenge Tour have got such great longevity.

We have seen players such as Brooks Koepka and Andrew Johnston win the Scottish Challenge in recent years. It has also been beneficial for Scottish players such as Aberdonian David Law who won in 2018 on his way to making the move up to the European Tour.

The tournament at Newmachar will be a massive week for the Scottish players on the Challenge Tour and hopefully some of them can take their chance and have a good week.

 

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