Tiger Woods Returning to Golf With Son in Weekend Event That's Nearly a Sellout

Tiger Woods will make his return to competitive golf next week to play with his 12-year-old son, Charlie, in the upcoming PNC Championship, he announced Wednesday.

The championship, formerly known as Father-Son Challenge for its pairing of family members, is already close to selling out because organizers limit ticket sales to keep the event more intimate.

The golfer's return to play comes 10 months after he was involved in a serious car crash that badly damaged his right leg. He shattered his tibia and fibula bones in multiple locations, and doctors had to use a rod in the tibia and a mixture of screws and pins in the ankle and foot to stabilize his injuries.

"Although it's been a long and challenging year, I am very excited to close it out by competing in the PNC Championship with my son Charlie," Woods tweeted Wednesday. "I'm playing as a Dad and couldn't be more excited and proud."

Woods and his son competed in the unofficial event last year and tied for seventh place. This year's tournament, scheduled to take place December 18-19 at the Ritz Carlton Golf Club Orlando, was holding a spot for him as he mulled whether or not to play.

"We have been liaising with Tiger and his team for some time and are delighted that he has now decided to make his return to competitive golf at the PNC Championship," said Alastair Johnston of IMG.

Woods Attends Training Session
Tiger Woods will compete at the upcoming PNC Championship, 10 months after he was involved in a serious car crash that badly damaged his right leg. Above, Woods watches his shot during a training session at the Albany Golf Club in New Providence, Bahamas, on December 5, 2021. Fernando Llano/AP Photo

Woods was driving to a Los Angeles course for a television shoot on February 23 when police say he was driving about 85 mph along a winding, coastal suburban road. The SUV crashed through a median and plunged down a hill.

Woods said last week that amputation was considered. He declined to discuss specifics of the crash, saying only "you can read about all that there in the police report."

For the first time in its 24 years, the tournament has a current No. 1 player in the field, Nelly Korda, who will be playing with her father, Petr, a former Australian Open tennis champion.

Lee Trevino is playing again and has never missed the tournament since it began in 1995. Justin Thomas returns as the defending champion with his father, Mike, a longtime PGA professional.

Still, this becomes all about Woods inside the ropes, hitting shots that count toward a score. A year ago, it was his last event before a fifth back surgery, not as serious as the previous ones. Toward the end of the second round, he was not hitting some tee shots because his son played from a forward tee and was getting it out there farther than Woods could have hit it.

Fans are returning to the Florida course, and it already is close to a sellout because organizers limit ticket sales to preserve the intimate nature of the event.

The next question will be when Woods, who shares the career PGA Tour record with 82 victories, will play in an official event.

He had said last week that was a long way off, dousing hopes of a return by suggesting his leg wouldn't allow him to practice as much, he was at peace with that and "I've made the climb enough times." He also said he hadn't reached a point of deciding whether to complete a full comeback from his latest injuries.

"I'll play a round here or there, a little hit and giggle, I can do something like that," he said. "To see some of my shots fall out of the sky a lot shorter than they used to is a little eye-opening, but at least I'm able to do it again. That's something that for a while there it didn't look like I was going to. Now I'm able to participate in the sport of golf.

"Now, to what level? I do not know that."

The first level is with his son at his side in a 36-hole event where he doesn't have to hit every shot and can ride in a cart. But the score will count, and that hasn't happened since the PNC Championship last year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Tiger Woods Returns to Competition
Tiger Woods will make his return to competitive golf next week to play with his 12-year-old son, Charlie, in the PNC Championship, he announced Wednesday. Above, Woods gestures during the trophy ceremony of the Hero World Challenge PGA Tour at the Albany Golf Club in New Providence, Bahamas, on December 5, 2021. Fernando Llano/AP Photo