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Tiger Woods’ biggest addition to the US Open … and a heartwarming welcome from dad

Tiger Woods at Pinehurst No. 2.

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Hello friends and happy Tuesday from the US Open! I’m writing to you all from a nice and cool media center after a 22,000 step day at Pinehurst No. it was hot, but mostly watching Max Homa and Tiger Woods play the front nine nice and early. After eating a quick breakfast at the media center, I walked out to the first hole where I was happy to hear that Min Woo Lee joined in with a tee time of 7:29.

Tiger, Max Homa and Min Woo Lee

I’m not a teaching professional, so I’m not qualified to comment on what Tiger’s swing looks like. But as a 29-year-old with travel experience, I feel like I’m allowed to weigh in on how the 15-time major champion looked today, and folks, he looked great. He looked comfortable from shot to shot and I didn’t notice any real limping.

Tiger and Charlie Woods were matched in their bright red Sun Day shirts, and I realized that Charlie Woods is very different when it comes to the match-your-sixth-parent rule. For most children, it is best to match the look with the parent until they are about 10 years old. After that, you can get a funny look that goes to Easter mass or a beach day with a “me and me” or “me and dad” outfit. That rule doesn’t apply if the guy you’re matching has 82 PGA Tour wins. It’s a big change that Charlie Woods can dress like his father every day, and I hope it continues for a very long time.

This group only played nine holes today, and my biggest takeaway was not the conversation I overheard or the swing I saw, but the new friendships I’m excited about.

Charlie Woods stayed by Tiger’s side for a few holes, but soon he was walking and talking to Min Woo Lee. Lee is a Gen Z hero that many young people love, so I’m not sure why I was surprised when he and Charlie Woods started hitting it off. Maybe because Lee is so different from Tiger. She relies on her popularity and is very active on social media while Tiger stays private. Either way, Min Woo Lee is the coolest guy on the scene this week – the kids were yelling “let him cook!” as he passed the practice area in front, and Charlie was happy when Lee gave him his putter to test.

Charlie Woods is a coach?

I always like watching Tiger in “dad mode.” I went to the PNC tournament and watched the Woods guys put it together the last two years, and it was great to watch them compete again at Pinehurst today. But I also couldn’t help but wonder what responsibilities Charlie has this week, aside from being a big hang. I asked Tiger about his son’s activities as a member of the “player support group” this week and was impressed by his response.

I trust him with my swing and my game. He has seen more than anyone in the world. You’ve seen me hit more golf balls than anyone. I tell him what to look for, especially for placement. He gave me a few side bits today, which was good, because I get so focused on hitting certain putts on certain pins, I tend to forget some of the things I’m working on. I just want to see the balls rolling. He always reminds me, which is good. We have such a good relationship and harmony, and it’s a good thing for both of us.

Move over, Butch Harmon and Sean Foley. There’s a new world-famous skating coach in town, and he’s a freshman in high school. Although the Woods boys are happy this week, they have business to take care of. Charlie is not here to participate. He serves as a second set of eyes on the champ who has played 15 times this week, which is a resume builder for a 15 year old! He holds the entire golf world in his hands.

I also want to take a moment to shout out the loudest “baby daddy” I’ve ever seen from Tiger Woods, where he admits he’s not sure “whatever” TikTok is.

The scariest walk in Pinehurst

Scary green this, scary green that. You know what the scariest part of Pinehurst No. 2 this week? A line of dozens of kids yelling players’ names, begging for autographs and pictures as they walk the practice field. I feel like I’m back in the middle school hallway being stared at while going through the autograph section, and I’m not even the one they want to talk to! But the requests go beyond the players. I heard some kids clamoring for the security guard’s signature and autographs from the caddies and agents. Basically, if you walk in this area, there will be a song directed at you. The MVP of the autograph zone today was Bryson DeChambeau, where the kids were so excited to meet Bryson the golfer and Bryson the YouTuber.

Maybe these kids will have an autograph from the two-time US Open champion come Sunday afternoon.

Claire Rogers

Claire Rogers Editor

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