ORLANDO, Florida – Padraig Harrington is playing for the PNC Championship for the third time and loves the idea of bonding with his son, Patrick, and exposing him to the game he excelled at as a professional.
He also likes to check out the various golf swings of legends and amateurs. Three caught his eye this week: Gary Player, Lee Trevino and Charlie Woods.
Yes, there are two 80-year-old Hall of Famers and 11-year-old son Tiger Woods, the youngest player to ever compete in Saturday’s Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort.
“Which I find interesting: I think Tiger became a professional a little bit before me or at the same time as me,” Harrington said Friday after a pro-am round. “This is the first tournament I have ever played in which Tiger Woods plays, as he is not the star of the show.
“He should take note of himself. He’s not the star of the show this week. And that’s a lot of players and professionals. We all go down in line and everyone stops to see Charlie. By the way, Tiger “The buzz created is incredible.”
Last month there was a considerable surprise when Woods announced that he would play the event reserved for the great champions and a family member.
Charlie Woods proved to be quite a player, with a golf swing that looks very similar to his famous father, who won 15 major titles. Tiger Woods has repeatedly said that he simply wants his son to “enjoy” the game. During two pro-am appearances, Charlie made many promises.
Harrington, 49, is the captain of the European Ryder Cup team, the biennial competition that has been postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Winner of 31 world tournaments, including three major championships, he had his share of battles with the older Woods over the years.
But he is intrigued by what is happening to Charlie Woods.
“For me, I watched three golf swings this week,” Harrington said. “Three people, I even stopped to look at him. Gary Player. Lee Trevino and Charlie Woods. I stop to look at the sons. But three in particular take my time.
“Gary Player for me, at 85, is incredibly good at hitting him. Lee Trevino is still a nice ball striker at 81. Wouldn’t you like to be like that? And on the contrary at the end of the scale at the age of You have 11-year-old Charlie Woods and what’s in front of him.
“Push Tiger aside,” Harrington joked. – You’re not the story anymore.
Like his experience with 17-year-old Patrick, Harrington said the idea is to have fun and not worry too much about results.
“Certainly in the first two years you just wanted to make a good shot,” Harrington said. “I remember in the first year he hit a great pitch in the 13th and turned him around. He hit him with a dead stone. And they showed him on TV. That’s the key. They showed him on TV. It was an exceptional shot, but was broadcast.
“It’s not about showing bad photos. We’re here to have fun. I’m doing a good job. No matter how few will be under pressure, it’s not too bad in terms of format. If you’re touring, there’s pressure. But if not you are, it is indeed a pleasant week. “
Tiger and Charlie Woods leave at 11:48 ET with Justin Thomas and his father, Mike.