Don’t look now, but Tiger Woods is back in action this weekend as he and his son, Charlie, will headline the action at the 2022 PNC Championship. Playing in this two-person scramble for the third consecutive year, the Woods duo is joined by previous winners in Justin Thomas and his father, John Daly and his son, John Daly Jr. Also competing are Hall of Famers, including Annika Sorenstam, Nick Faldo, Lee Trevino and Bernhard Langer, alongside their respective family members.LPGA superstar and former world No. 1 Nelly Korda is set to compete for the second straight year with her father, and making his PNC Championship debut is another former world No. 1 in Jordan Spieth. Playing for the first time with his father, Spieth will look to carry the momentum from his victory with Thomas at The Match 7 into a successful showing at the Ritz Carlton Golf Club. Major champions Stewart Cink, Vijay Singh, Justin Leonard, Padraig Harrington and many more round out the action in what should be a fun-filled weekend in Florida. While a laidback family outing at its very core, the PNC Championship is still an opportunity to watch some of the best players in the world — past, present and possibly future — hone in on their craft before the calendar flips to the new year.Event informationEvent: PNC Championship | Dates: Dec. 17-18Location: Ritz-Carlton Golf Club — Orlando, FloridaPar: 72 | Yardage: 7,106 | Purse: $1.09 millionFormat: Two-person scramble
What is this event?Formerly known as the Father/Son Challenge, this tournament has since rebranded to the PNC Championship. Having been played for nearly three decades, it has often been a way for major championship and Players Championship winners to team up with a family member of his choosing.Only recently expanding on the field criteria, it has been a solid modification as Sorenstam and Korda have since joined in on the fun. With the influx of young talent like Daly Jr., who plays on the Arkansas men’s golf team, and Charlie Woods, who impresses in each appearance, the quality of golf, laughs and overall competition has ramped up.
What is the format?Only 36 holes will be played as teams join forces in the scramble format. Like the format played in charity tournaments, each member of the team will tee off — from varying tees based on age — and select the best drive. This process is repeated with every shot until the ball is holed. There has been a story circulating of a team shooting 46 (!!!) at a scramble event, but I wouldn’t expect scores to be that low; instead, they should be in the neighborhood of low 60s of high 50s.
Has Tiger won this tournament before?In short, no. However, last year he and Charlie came awfully close to chasing down the Dalys on the final day. At one point, the pair rattled off 11 straight birdies. Signing for rounds of 62-57, the Woods family came up two strokes short of claiming victory at 25 under. That will surely be on Charlie’s mind. Now 13, he is beginning to hit his growth spurt and will serve as a key component for Team Woods.
Who is in the field?Stewart Cink and Connor CinkJohn Daly and John Daly IIDavid Duval and Brady DuvalNick Faldo and Matthew FaldoJim Furyk and Tanner FurykPadraig Harrington and Patrick HarringtonNelly Korda and Petr KordaMatt Kuchar and Carson KucharBernhard Langer and Jason LangerTom Lehman and Sean LehmanJustin Leonard and Luke LeonardMark O’Meara and Shaun O’MearaGary Player and Jordan PlayerNick Price and Greg PriceVijay Singh and Qass SinghAnnika Sorenstam and Will McGeeJordan Spieth and Shawn SpiethJustin Thomas and Mike ThomasLee Trevino and Daniel TrevinoTiger Woods and Charlie WoodsWhat should we expect from Tiger?This very well could be the last time we see Tiger in competition until February — if not April — for the 2023 Masters. With 36 holes guaranteed and utilizing a golf cart due to his leg and plantar fasciitis in his right foot, I expect to see some moments of vintage Tiger. Carving irons and hitting delicate pitches and chips — those are the moments to soak in as gone are the days of lashing at the driver and running in putts.He showed some rust last week in The Match 7, but also signs that his game is close with a few filthy iron shots. Still, it remains a family-oriented event and Tiger will be insistent on using most of Charlie’s shots from tee to green while he looks on and takes in the sights and the sounds of a couple rounds with his son.
Picks and predictionTeam Thomas is the favorite at +275 and rightfully so. Justin looked terrific in The Match 7, carrying his team to victory, and his father Mike has been a PGA Professional for nearly 40 years. They won this event two years ago and came close to defending despite Mike experiencing some health issues at the time.They are followed by Team Spieth at +450 and Team Woods at +500. In an event that could go a number of ways, I am unsure if I am comfortable backing Spieth and his father — whose game I have the faintest clue about — but Team Woods is intriguing. Their price is half of what it was a year ago and Charlie looks to have only gotten better.
I’ll go with the homer pick at the top of the odds board with the Woods and Team Harrington a bit lower at +3300 as a sleeper. Padraig has been playing some fantastic golf on the PGA Tour Champions circuit and signed for a 10-under 62 alongside his son in the final round last year, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they find themselves in the mix.
Here’s how you can watch this weekend.All times are EasternRound 1 — SaturdayRound starts: 10:05 a.m.Early coverage: 1-2 p.m. on PeacockLive TV coverage: 2-6 p.m. on NBC & PeacockRound 2 — SundayRound starts: 10:05 a.m.Early coverage: 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. on PeacockEarly TV coverage: 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. on Golf Channel & PeacockLive TV coverage: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. on NBC & Peacock