Much has been made of Charlie Woods’s ascent in recent times, and that was helped by another assured performance alongside his father, Tiger, at last week’s PNC Championship.
However, while the spotlight was briefly taken away from the 15-time Major winner, one man eager to bring the 46-year-old back into focus is legendary caddie Jim “Bones” Mackay. The 57-year-old caddied for Justin and Mike Thomas in the tournament, and, as the duo were paired alongside Team Woods, Mackay had a close-up of Woods’ progress. He even hinted that Woods could make an appearance for Team USA in next year’s Ryder Cup.
Speaking to the press after the tournament, where Tiger and Charlie finished tied for eighth, Mackay said: “As impressed as I was with Charlie. I was that much or more impressed with Tiger in terms of where he is. I was out there thinking: ‘Oh my gosh, it’s a Ryder Cup year.’”
The prospect of Woods appearing in next year’s event at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club near Rome seems remote given his limited competitive action in 2022. Apart from the PNC Championship, Woods appeared in three of the year’s four Majors and the made-for-TV exhibition event, The Match. However, injuries have plagued his progress, with his struggle to overcome a broken leg sustained in a car accident frequently apparent, followed by developing plantar fasciitis in his right foot.
Nevertheless, Woods still has a desire to compete in the biggest events, and has acknowledged as much by revealing he plans to play in as many Majors as he can in the future. Perhaps with that in mind, Mackay, who caddied for Phil Mickelson for 25 years, suggested it would be foolish to write off Woods’ chances despite his ongoing issues. He said: “Let’s not put anything past the guy… I’m excited because I think he’s going to come out there and make plenty more noise and give some of those guys who would love dearly to play with him late on Sunday an idea of what it was like.”
Mackay’s apparent confidence in Woods to stun the golf world again follows hot on the heels of another veteran of the game who believes the American still has great days to come on the course. Padraig Harrington was so impressed by what he saw of Woods at The Match that he tipped him to win another Major, saying: “I think he’ll win another Major. The way I looked at him, I genuinely think he will be in contention.”
As for Woods, after the PNC Championship, he acknowledged that he had made progress since the 2021 event. Asked how much, he said: “A lot. The first year, I had back surgery and last year I played with a broken leg. So this year, nothing was broken, but it was good that all the pieces are there again all lined up.”
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Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories.
He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game.
Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course.
Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.
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