Tiger Woods’s 15-Year-Old Son Will Attempt to Qualify for a PGA Tour Event

Charlie Woods is looking to one-up his dad, who made his Tour debut at 16

ORLANDO, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 17: Tiger Woods and Charlie Woods of the United States during the final round of the PNC Championship at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club on December 17, 2023 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Tiger Woods and Charlie Woods at the PNC Championship in December 2023.
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Tiger Woods’s son Charlie might be about to one-up his all-time-great golfer dad on the course at the age of 15. Tiger qualified for his first PGA Tour event when he was only 16, but Charlie could do so by Monday.

Charlie is set to play the Cognizant Classic pre-qualifier, taking place Thursday at Lost Lake Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Florida. Golf Magazine reported that the round is one of four pre-qualifiers for the Cognizant Classic. Should Charlie do well enough at Lost Lake, he’ll move on with about two dozen other golfers to the PGA Tour event’s qualifying round in four days. There, four golfers will qualify for the Cognizant.

“While the younger Woods, a high school sophomore, has never played in a Tour event, he has played four times at the PNC Championship, a nationally broadcast event in December where major winners play with family members — and Team Woods has played well,” Golf wrote. “In 2020, they tied for fifth; in 2021, they were runners-up; in 2022, they tied for eighth; and last year, they tied for fifth.”

The publication added that Charlie Woods had also tied for 17th place in the boys 14-15 division at the Notah Begay III Junior Golf National Championship in fall 2023. His caddy? Tiger Woods. The younger Woods had also been part of a state championship-winning golf team at the Benjamin School, a private school in Palm Beach Gardens.  

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In its article, Golf also noted the remarkable amount of scrutiny young Charlie is already receiving from fans and the media. Toby Harbeck, Charlie’s school golf team coach, described one tournament his youth squad participated in that was delayed by inclement weather. In the clubhouse, while his players waited out the rain along with other golfers, Charlie was approached for autographs and pictures by a seemingly endless string of people.

“Fans flock to Charlie on the course, too,” Golf explained. “At one event, an armada of 30 golf carts awaited him on the first tee.”

According to Harbeck, at public-course host sites, paparazzi literally stationed up in trees to snap photos of Charlie, with things getting extra frenzied when his dad is around.

“When we’re out there playing, I’m his dad, so I’m protective of him,” Tiger said of his son on a podcast in 2022, per Golf. “Obviously I want him to do the best he possibly can. I want him to learn from everything. But I also want to protect him from, like, all of this. The environment. Especially this day and age. When I grew up there were no camera phones, there were no videos. I try to shoo people away. ‘Let him enjoy, don’t put any pressure on him, let him play, let him be a kid, OK?’”

Tiger should have a pretty good sense of what’s too much for a youngster in this regard. He was in the public eye starting at the age of two, when he famously appeared on The Mike Douglas Show to hammer some balls with a kiddie driver. As a teen, there was already the expectation he would be golf’s next great one.

He credits his father, Earl, with training him to be mentally tough. Though some of those sessions sound as though they were incredibly intense — and Tiger’s had more than his fair share of off-the-course personal struggles as an adult — Tiger has always insisted his dad did right by him.

It’s good to see that the men in Charlie’s life appear to have his back, too. They seem quite aware of what it’ll mean for the youngster to compete at an event called the Cognizant Classic. We’ll know by Monday if he does indeed qualify, and if Charlie can beat his dad to the PGA Tour.

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