(ORLANDO, Fla.) — Just months after sustaining serious injuries in a car accident, Tiger Woods made his return to competitive golf on Friday.
Woods, who suffered comminuted open fractures to his right tibia and fibia in February, hit the links with his 12-year-old son, Charlie.
The father-son duo are participating in the PNC Championship, a tournament in Orlando, Florida, that allows former major champions to compete alongside their family members.
“To be out here with my son like this, it’s the best,” he said in an interview with the Golf Channel. “We’re here to have fun.”
Woods played with his son in the tournament for the first time last year, finishing seventh out of 20 pairs.
Woods, 45, told Golf Digest last month that the idea of playing with Charlie has been a motivating factor in his recovery. Charlie is the golfer’s youngest child with his ex-wife, Elin Nordegren; the former couple also share a 14-year-old daughter, Sam.
For Woods, who has won the Masters five times and the PGA Championship four times, seeing his son follow in his footsteps has been a gratifying experience. He’s also been able to impart some of the wisdom he’s picked up from his years as a golfer.
“I went to golf tournaments to watch him play, and I’m looking at some of these scores he’s shooting and I said, ‘How the hell are you shooting such high scores? I gotta go check this out,’” he said. “So I’d watch him play and he’s going along great. He has one bad hole, he loses his temper, his temper carries him over to another shot and another shot and it compounds itself.”
Woods continued: “‘Son, I don’t care how mad you get. Your head could blow off for all I care just as long as you’re 100% committed to the next shot. That’s all that matters. That next shot should be the most important shot in your life. It should be more important than breathing. Once you understand that concept, then I think you’ll get better.’ And as the rounds went on throughout the summer, he’s gotten so much better.”
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