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‘Fun for both of us’: Tiger Woods prepares to play alongside son Charlie at PNC Championship

By George Ramsay, CNN

(CNN) — Tiger Woods says that he and son Charlie have “fed off our competitive nature” as they prepare to play alongside each other at the PNC Championship in Florida this weekend.

This will be the fourth time that the father-son duo has appeared at the annual tournament in Orlando, which sees past major-winning golfers team up with a family member.

Woods made a recent return to golf at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, marking the 15-time major champion’s first competitive outing in nearly eight months having undergone ankle surgery earlier this year.

At the PNC Championship, he tees off with 14-year-old Charlie at 8:22am ET alongside two-time major winner Justin Thomas and his father, Mike.

“It’s been fun, it’s been fun for both of us,” Woods told NBC on Friday ahead of the event. “We’ve fed off of our competitive nature and we’ve really pushed each other to become better, and it’s just a fun atmosphere. We keep it light, competitive, enjoyable.”

The pair practiced together at the Ritz Carlton Golf Club on Friday, once again showcasing their eerily similar golf swing and mannerisms at the tee.

Charlie has grown four inches in the past year, according to Woods, a stark physical comparison to the 11-year-old boy who first appeared at this event three years ago.

“I can’t quite give him as much grief anymore because he’s getting close to being able to beat me up,” Justin Thomas quipped with reporters.

Rain is expected to affect this year’s PNC Championship, though the weather won’t be the only hurdle that players have to overcome; they also have to learn to play effectively alongside a family member.

One example of that was an exasperated Charlie saying “you gotta be kidding me” when his father opted to hit a driver off the deck during Friday’s practice.

“It’s up to the parent to provide the right timing and the right environment for a learning process,” Woods said about honing his relationship with Charlie on the golf course. “He doesn’t always listen and I don’t always give in, either.

“It makes for challenging times at times, but it’s part of the process. We’re both learning and we’re both growing at the same time.”

Injuries and the physical repercussions of a car crash in 2021 have forced Woods to take time away from golf in recent years. As he steps up his return to the sport, he has said that he aims to play in one tournament per month next year.

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