While all eyes were on Tiger Woods and son Charlie as they carded 11 consecutive birdies, it was John Daly and son John II who walked off with the championship belts.
Team Woods put on a frantic run but Team Daly held them off to post a two-shot victory on Sunday in the PNC Championship at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Orlando.
Both duos shot 15-under 57 in the second and final round, with the Dalys finishing at 27-under 117 for the tournament. They broke the tournament record set by Davis Love III and his son three years ago by one stroke
John Daly is a two-time Grand Slam winner but he said combining with his 18-year-old for a victory means more.
“It’s just one of the highlights of my life forever,” the 55-year-old Daly said. “To be able to play in a PGA Tournament with your son, it’s pretty special.”
It was a pretty big weekend for Woods too as he was playing for the first time since badly breaking his right leg 10 months ago in a single-car accident. He used a cart to navigate the course.
The 11-birdie stretch was filled with good shots from both Tiger and Charlie but the streak ended with a par on No. 18 as they couldn’t overtake the Dalys.
“We thought we would have to birdie every hole on the back nine to have a chance and it turned out to be that way,” Woods said. “We got to that last hole and we were on a run but we still needed to make it interesting for the Dalys back there. But what a blast it was. We just had a blast all day.”
Tiger and his son combined for a 10-under 62 in the first round before bettering that by five shots on Sunday. They had 13 birdies and one eagle during a bogey-free round.
Woods reiterated that he is nowhere close to being able to play in PGA tournaments. But he certainly got back into the competitive spirit without much prodding.
“The competitive juices, they are never going to go away. This is my environment,” Woods said. “This is what I’ve done my entire life. I’m just so thankful to be able to have this opportunity to do it again. Earlier this year was not a very good start to the year and it didn’t look very good.
“But the last few weeks, to push as hard as we have the last seven months with taking no days off and just working our butts off each and every day, and to have this opportunity to be able to play with my son and to have these memories, for us, for both of us, our lifetime, it’s worth all the pain.”
The Dalys also had one eagle and 13 birdies and ran off their own stellar stretch of six straight birdies from holes 9 through 14.
The Dalys led by one as they reached 18 and birdied the hole for the two-shot win.
The younger Daly is an 18-year-old college golfer for Arkansas, and he certainly held his own on the big stage.
“Every year we always try and win but this was the year,” John Daly II said. “Just enjoyed it and being here playing with him in the holidays.”
Defending champions Justin Thomas and his father, Mike, tied for third, three shots behind the Dalys. Also tying for third were Stewart Cink and his son, Reagan.
–Field Level Media
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