Tiger Woods and Charlie Woods react on the third green during the first round of the PNC Championship at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club.How Charlie……

Tiger Woods and Charlie Woods react on the third green during the first round of the PNC Championship at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club.How Charlie Woods saved the PNC ChampionshipGary Player, Lee Trevino and defending champion John Daly should thank Charlie Woods for saving their “major.”This week marks the 25th playing of the PNC Championship, but this 36-hole team event, which pairs 20 winners of prestigious titles alongside a family member in a scramble competition, had just about run its course until Charlie got the golf itch.Don’t believe me? This event wasn’t played from 2009-2011 due to a lack of sponsorship and wasn’t revived until IMG and Arnold Palmer convinced the good people at Pittsburgh-based PNC to breathe new life into it. The King played with grandson Will Wears in 2012, but then he passed the torch to Jack Nicklaus. Seeing The Golden Bear, who was usually paired with Lee Trevino, play 36 was worth the price of admission and carried TV ratings. But as Nicklaus neared his 80th birthday – he last played in 2018 with grandson G.T. – IMG’s Alastair Johnston sensed his “baby” had outgrown its britches. He’d

Tiger Woods and Charlie Woods react on the third green during the first round of the PNC Championship at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club.

How Charlie Woods saved the PNC Championship
Gary Player, Lee Trevino and defending champion John Daly should thank Charlie Woods for saving their “major.”

This week marks the 25th playing of the PNC Championship, but this 36-hole team event, which pairs 20 winners of prestigious titles alongside a family member in a scramble competition, had just about run its course until Charlie got the golf itch.

Don’t believe me? This event wasn’t played from 2009-2011 due to a lack of sponsorship and wasn’t revived until IMG and Arnold Palmer convinced the good people at Pittsburgh-based PNC to breathe new life into it. The King played with grandson Will Wears in 2012, but then he passed the torch to Jack Nicklaus. Seeing The Golden Bear, who was usually paired with Lee Trevino, play 36 was worth the price of admission and carried TV ratings. But as Nicklaus neared his 80th birthday – he last played in 2018 with grandson G.T. – IMG’s Alastair Johnston sensed his “baby” had outgrown its britches. He’d seen the same thing happen to the Skins Game, another event he helped bring into prominence as the once-proud king of Silly Season events.

“Once Tiger’s appetite for doing that went away and the money became so big that people didn’t have to play in it to make money, it lost its appeal,” Johnston once explained of the demise of the Skins Game, which was last played in 2008.

Tiger Woods and Charlie Woods react on the third green during the first round of the PNC Championship at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club Orlando on December 19, 2020 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Johnston remembers when the idea for the PNC Championship struck him. This was several years ago in the pre-cellphone days and he was at TPC Michigan, site of the 1994 Ford Senior Players Championship. There in the locker room were three major champions lined up at a bank of phones: Raymond Floyd, Dave Stockton and Nicklaus.

“They were all talking to their kids,” Johnston said. “It was far more important how their kids were playing than how they were doing and I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we could create a tournament where the fathers and sons could play together?’ ”

His brainchild has exceeded his wildest expectations.

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