Yuletide greetings, yolkels! This will be our only newsletter this week, but we’ll be back next Wednesday, December 29, for a 2021 wrap-up. We’ll return to our regular schedule on Monday, January 3. We hope you have a great holiday season!
Folks, he looks good
The ratings won’t bear this out, but the PNC Championship was the best show on the tube this weekend. Three shots back at the beginning of the second and final round of golf’s premier family scramble, Tiger and Charlie Woods started birdie-birdie-eagle. Then, between holes 7 and 17, they rattled off 11 straight birdies, sending Golf Twitter into a tizzy. The Woodses ended up with a second-round 57.
It was a two-hour thrill ride of the kind that we rarely get from December golf. Both father and son played beautifully. But they didn’t score quite well enough: John Daly and his 18-year-old son John Daly II shot 57 on Sunday, too, and they held on for a two-shot win. Tiger and Charlie finished solo second, one shot ahead of Team Thomas and Team Cink.
Sure, we could talk about what the win means for John Daly II’s second semester with the Arkansas golf team, but the story of the weekend was obvious: Tiger Woods can actually play the game at a high level. Everything he said going into the event—that amputation was “on the table” after his February car accident, that he had no stamina, that he had barely been on a golf course in 2021, etc.—limited expectations. But there he was on Saturday and Sunday, blasting 300-yard drives and flexing a dialed-in short game.
Of course, hitting some good shots at the PNC is very different from grinding out 72 holes at a PGA Tour event. But let’s not forget that there was a time earlier this year when we weren’t sure whether Tiger would walk again. So for now, we’re just glad that he and his son appeared to have a blast playing the greatest game in the world.
The PNC Championship generated a lot of fun videos, but maybe the most memorable came courtesy of Nelly Korda. The No. 1 player in women’s golf met Tiger for the first time after Saturday’s round, and she was endearingly nervous and excited as she asked the 15-time major winner for a photo.
This moment, small as it was, made us reflect on how much it meant to have Tiger back. Does the commentary around him and especially his 12-year-old son too often verge on hysterical? Absolutely. Was it weird to get live updates from their practice rounds? For sure. But Woods’s return to the spotlight is still important. Maybe we all can just find a way to cover him in a detailed way without overdoing it in the future. (Don’t count on it.)
The Latest from The Fried Egg
Ladies European Tour Q-School is finishing up as you read this on Monday morning. Meghan MacLaren (leader) and up-and-coming Swede Linn Grant (T-7) continue to impress in their quest to earn 2022 status.
The R&A announced that the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit winner will no longer receive an automatic exemption into the Open Championship. While not explicitly presented as such, the move is clearly a response to the new partnership between the Asian Tour and Saudi-backed LIV Golf Investments.
Lee Trevino put on an entertaining “clinic” for Charlie Woods and his dad after Friday’s pro-am. Trevino is one of golf’s great natural resources. Protect him at all costs.
Karl Stenson, Henrik’s 11-year-old son, clearly inherited his dad’s dry wit.