When you talk about transcendent figures in the history of men’s golf, both Tiger Woods (Bridgestone Tour B X) and John Daly (Titleist Pro V1x) are easily on or near the top of the list. So how ironic the two legends and their sons battled it out in the final of the PNC Championship this past weekend?
This was a friendly 36-hole, best-ball tournament between fathers and their sons or daughters and, for the most part, it was fun and not physically taxing. The course at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Orlando is flat. For someone like Tiger, who is steadily physically recovering from the car crash almost a year ago that damaged both of his legs, the tournament gave him a chance to not really exert himself. And he was allowed the use of a golf cart. It was just a sample test for him, far less demanding than what he will face if – and hopefully when – he returns to the PGA Tour next year.
So here is Woods, playing with a new prototype version of the Tour B XS, and his 12-year-old son, Charlie, and Daly and his son, John Daly II, 18, competing in a rather meaningless tournament but one which drew TV coverage. Why? Because it’s Tiger Woods. I’ve said it before in my blogs and I’ll continue to repeat that. Tiger Woods playing in a fun tournament in which he has to use a golf cart is better than no Tiger Woods at all. And seeing him with his son, whose physical golf mannerisms closely resemble his father’s, is great. So much will be expected of the youngster as he grows up and climbs the golfing ladder. But for now we can just enjoy what he is doing and feel good for his father because this is such an important time in both of their lives.
One can only imagine what it means to be Tiger’s son, both in terms of the pressure of having such a famous father but to also comprehend the experiences of his father, on and off the golf course. The car crash alone would have been devastating – as it would be for any son, but even more so when it draws worldwide attention. Charlie has already gone through far more than the average 12-year-old.
And what of John Daly II? Before Tiger Woods burst on the golf scene with prodigious talent that set him apart from the competition, John Daly was arguably the biggest attraction in the sport with his grip-it-and-rip-it mentality. He did things in the sport in his 20s that stunned the golfing world. And then he started to struggle with his inner demons and, sadly, became a parody of himself. Now he resembles Santa Claus, which some people find amusing.
But again, all that matters in the context of his life now is being there for his son. One can only imagine what happened in this tournament and how much it will be a moment for the two to cherish. They won, edging out the Woods’, and nothing is sweeter than victory. Finishing second is special for the Woods’, no matter how competitive the patriarch is. There were some quality teams in the tournament.
Presumably in years from now both Charlie and John Daly II will be competing on the PGA Tour. But so many things can happen in life, in particular in the current climate in which we live.
I’m happy for both of the Woods’ and the Dalys. The golfing world and the entire sports world had a chance to enjoy their moment and it was fun.