After steamrolling the competition at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational last Sunday, Woods holed out for an even-par 70. To his side came his son, 4-year-old Charlie, who held his dad tightly before he retreated to sign his scorecard, making the 79th win of his career official.
So indelible was that image, so rare was the moment, it should have served as no surprise that it came up as Woods held court with reporters at the PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y.
“Whatever he decides, he decides,” Woods said at the Oak Hill Country Club, site of the 95th PGA Championship. “If he did decide to play golf, so be it. If he decides to play another sport or not play any sports, as long as he’s happy and enjoys his life, I’m there to support and guide him in his life.”
“He just emulates what I do. I would go and hit balls and it goes kind of quiet for a while, and then the next thing I know he’s looking over my shoulder and he’s kind of watching and just kind of eyeing me,” Woods said. “Then I’ll hit and he’ll hit and his swing starts mimicking what I am doing. That’s how I learned the game and my dad just kept it so light, fun and competitive, and I fell in love with it.”
To his winning ways and publically paternal gestures, Woods last week added a bit of criticism concerning the speed of the greens at Oak Hill.
“They don’t have much thatch to them, so it’ll be interesting to see what they do for the tournament and how much they’re able to speed them up with kind of a lack of grass,” Woods said, according to ESPN.com. When Woods comments, you react. That’s exactly what course superintendent Jeff Corcoran did.
“He hit it right on the head,” said Corcoran, according to ESPN.com “We were trying to give the greens a rest before we head into a very stressful week,” Corcoran said. “When he was here [Tuesday], we were playing defense. We didn’t mow that day, didn’t roll them that day. We’ve had an extremely tough summer.”
And what would be a week at a major without a little controversy? A barricade behind which fans sought autographs almost caved in — an event that would have almost certainly injured him.
“Well, the fence almost came down,” he said, according to CBSSports.com “So they almost knocked the fence down. It gets dangerous. We had a little girl get crushed today, and she was just on the ground crying. People get so aggressive for autographs. And security is trying to be aggressive to protect the little kids up front. You try and sign, but sometimes the adults start running over the little kids up front, and especially on a fence like that, on a hard fence, it can get dangerous sometimes.”