January 21, 2022

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Tiger’s PNC return is a reunion with the Thomases

5 min read

ORLANDO, Fla. – This is all you need to know about the near romance relished by Tiger and Charlie Woods and Justin and Mike Thomas. When the Thomases teamed with each other to win last year’s PNC Championship, they celebrated by donning their dazzling red Willie Park champions’ belts and strutting in excess of to Tiger’s home to demonstrate them off.

Laughter all all over.

“We would hope them to do the same matter,” Justin explained.

The Thomases – Justin and his mothers and fathers, Mike and Jani – are a tightknit bunch, so Justin and Mike recognize remaining authorized inside of Tiger’s internal circle. It is fitting that they’ll be actively playing together with Team Woods as Tiger returns to golfing at 12:18 p.m. Saturday for the 1st round of the PNC Championship at the Ritz-Carlton Golfing Club in Orlando.

“My excitement amount is higher just for him remaining out below and remaining someplace other than his home, and acquiring to see a ton of acquainted faces,” Justin Thomas said. “And I know paying time with Charlie is a huge offer to him. I know he is psyched for that component.

“In phrases of the competing, I feel his expectations are very very low. But at the exact time, he is who he is for a reason, so I am confident he’ll be (ticked) off if he didn’t enjoy properly.”

Mike Thomas, 62, is the son of a PGA club professional who went into the family organization, operating for years as the specialist at Harmony Landing in Goshen, Kentucky. He and his son are defending champions at the PNC (Mike joked on Thursday he possibly hasn’t defended a title of any type in at least 20 several years). Mike’s only kid, Justin, is ranked sixth in the world, owning seen the watch from No. 1, a perch in the planet pecking buy that Woods occupied for 683 months of his meteoric career.

Justin Thomas is 28 and the owner of 14 PGA TOUR victories, such as this year’s Players Championship and the 2017 PGA Championship. His profession is off to a wonderful start off. Tiger Woods is two weeks shy of turning 46. He presently has climbed his mountains. He now shares the report for most PGA TOUR victories (82, along with Sam Snead) and has received 15 significant titles. He’s not positive when, or if, he will contend once again on the PGA TOUR, stating he’ll under no circumstances yet again be a total-time participant. If he does select to participate in, he expects his appearances to be quite minimal. This week’s PNC, where Charlie can strike drives from a forward tee about 1,000 yards ahead of Dad’s (Tiger will engage in at 7,106 yards) and Tiger can trip together in a cart, marks 1 small step in his journey.

The bond that the Thomases have crafted with Tiger and Charlie Woods represents an intriguing blend of golf generations, a superior-flowing conversation of information that lives in just the activity they all adore. Tiger has mentored Justin, just as Justin now serves as a sounding board and mentor to 12-calendar year-old Charlie. (“It’s in all probability fewer sage information that he is passing on,” Mike explained, “and much more of verbal comedic abuse, just because which is what we do.”) Mike Thomas is in the photo frame, also, serving as a worthwhile set of eyes as he watches all 3 get the job done on their golf swings.

Justin has not played golf with Tiger because final December, but Mike not too long ago performed with Tiger and Charlie, and came absent pretty amazed with both.

“I indicate, he’s nonetheless – he is received some pace,” Mike explained of Tiger. “He’s received some length. Hits a good deal of actually, truly flush pictures. I signify, I was amazed.”

The continual jabbing and sharp needling that goes on amongst the four golfers demand all of them to have thick skin, and to continue to be sharp and quick on their toes. A year ago, Charlie walked to his ball inside a fairway bunker and uncovered a funny be aware still left from the Thomases: Attract hole. A couple holes later, Charlie, who’d properly saved the note, responded with the similar.

All count on more of the very same entertaining banter occur Saturday.

“It’s likely to be the same as if us four have been just taking part in at residence,” Justin stated. “I necessarily mean, we are all rooting for each other. We want to go out there and have entertaining. It really is the similar point for all of us, is that I am right here to shell out time with my dad, and Tiger is in this article to commit time with Charlie, and vice versa. And it just so transpires we’re playing in a televised event.

“That’s really — at minimum for me personally, that’s how I am searching at it. I am certain we will have our needling in this article and there. But at the finish of the working day, we are all pulling for every single other, and we just want to have a excellent time and see each other do nicely.”

Justin Thomas claimed Woods has been a must have to his career, letting him inside the vault to just one of the toughest competitors – mentally and physically – the game has viewed. Just after they played for the initial time in a TOUR function several years in the past, Thomas arrived at out to Woods and requested for an straightforward assessment. No shock, which is precisely what he received.

“Immediately, he’s like, ‘You never have in close proximity to more than enough pictures. … You can get the job done it, but you will not have plenty of photographs to be, you know, as dominant as I was’ type of thing,” Justin claimed. “He’s like, … ‘You have some (photographs) that you can strike, but you do not have all of them, and you don’t have more than enough.’ It can be like, all correct.”

Thomas went to get the job done to determine it out, and currently says he has so several far more different sorts of photographs in his arsenal, anything that lets him to shape shots and get following flags he may not have been in a position to obtain in the earlier.

“It’s helped,” he reported.

Just as Justin is eager to answer anything at all that Charlie might pose to him, and how Mike is keen to help all a few. On Saturday, finally, Tiger Woods will be back on the golf class as soon as again. And rest certain, all 4 gamers in the team will be grateful for that.

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