Charlie Woods has become the blue-eyed boy of golf fans since the time he debuted at the 2020 PNC Championship. If being Tiger Woods’s son was not enough, Charlie Woods is also a spitting image of his pop, in mannerisms, swings, and even trash-talking. In the last one, the teenager might even one-up his dad.
Not only Woods Jr., but John Daly II is also deemed to be his father’s copy. Since his college golf videos circulated on the internet, netizens have compared his movements and swings with those of his father, John Daly. Daly II has also made quite a name for himself in his short amateur career. Pinning their hopes on the two, golf fans expect the young golfers to take up the mantle. But have we yet reached that stage where we can label them as the future of the PGA Tour?
How does Charlie Woods rank against his father?
Charlie Woods has something that his father doesn’t. The teenager won the Florida High School Athletic Association Class A State Championship with Benjamin School. The 14-year-old was part of the five-man roster that bagged the fourth state title. Woods Jr. shot a 78 and 76 and cupped a crucial birdie putt to seal it for his school. this year.
Even Tiger Woods admits his son has gone ahead of him in certain areas. The teenager just blasted a 321-yard drive on the par-4 12th hole at the PNC Championship this year. “I sort of didn’t have the speed that he has at that age. But also, I didn’t have the equipment either. The equipment is so different.” But what Woods achieved at 14 years of age with a lack of gear was pretty impressive.
At the age of 14, Tiger Woods was named Player of the Year in Southern California. In 1990, Woods also won the Optimist International Junior World for the fifth time. The 14-year-old Tiger Woods also became the youngest golfer to win the Insurance Youth Golf Classic National. The next year, he would go on to win the United States Junior Amateur, the first of his history-making three-peats. But like most of his remarkable achievements, Tiger Woods’s amateur feats are also an insane benchmark for anyone to hit.
But Charlie Woods didn’t grow up playing golf like Tiger Woods. He didn’t bag his first title at eight years of age. A good part of his early years went into soccer, a sport his sister excels in. The teenager took to golf way later, around the time the father-son duo made their first PNC Championship outing. But both the father and son became scratchy at the same time. Woods was a scratch golfer at the age of 13, and Charlie Woods, too, is believed to be a scratch golfer at 14 years of age.
Since then Charlie Woods’s career graph has been on an upwards trajectory. Whereas, John Daly II, who has been frequently compared with Woods Jr. because of their famous parents, has already made a name for himself in the amateur circle.
How has John Daly II performed?
Daly II also garnered much attention because of his PNC Championship appearances. Daly II and Charlie Woods were locked in the two-way title race at the 2021 PNC Championship. Eventually, Team Daly emerged victorious despite Team Woods making 11 birdies in their last 12 holes.
Daly’s came close again last year as well. However, a title defense was cut short courtesy of Vijay Singh and Qass Singh. But Daly II went on to make heads turn in college golf. The 20-year-old was the only Arkansas player to finish in the top 20 throughout the season. In the last tournament, John Daly’s young son bagged a top-10 finish. Notably, John Daly II also got his first NIL deal with Hooters back in 2022.
But Charlie Woods and John Daly II are not the first two examples of sons trying to fill in their fathers’ shoes. Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player—every golf legend’s son has tried to break into the game their parents dominated. How have they fared?
What does history show?
The odds are stacked against both. Only ten father-son duos have managed to win at least one title in the PGA Tour’s long history. Whereas, in the modern age, very few, if any, sons have scaled the mountains created by their fathers.
Jack Nicklaus’s son, Gary Nicklaus, was thought to be the one who would break the mold. At the age of 16, the Sports Illustrated cover dubbed him the ‘Next Nicklaus’. Yet, the best result Gary Nicklaus could achieve was a second-place finish at the Bellsouth Classic in 2000. Eventually, he gave up on his tour card in 2003.
Guy Boros, although he won a PGA Tour event in 1993, was still seventeen short of matching his father’s tally. The father, Julius Boros, in addition to those 18 titles, also had three majors to his name. Julius Boros was the oldest major champion at 48 years of age before Phil Mickelson broke his record. The story is the same for Gary Player’s son as well. Wayne Player failed to make the cut in 17 PGA Tour events before calling it quits and moving into his health and fitness business.
But there is always a first time in sports. Only time can tell whether Charlie Woods and John Daly II can break the mold. Rest assured, both young golfers are striding forward with steady steps that raise the hopes of millions of golf fans.