Team Thomas Shoots 57, Leads Team Woods and Team Singh by Two Strokes

Team Thomas upstaged their good friends and the featured twosome, the ailing Team Woods, in the final foursome of the day.

Justin Thomas and his father Mike shot a bogey-free 15-under-par 57 in the scramble format to take a two-stroke lead over Tiger Woods and his 13-year-old son Charlie, and Vijay Singh of Fiji and his son Qass after the first round of the 25th PNC Championship at Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Orlando, Fla.

The tournament formerly known as the Father-Son Challenge will conclude with another scramble round on Sunday.

“We just went out there and had a good time, played well and made a lot of birdies plus a couple eagles,” said two-time major champion Justin Thomas. “I really like these greens because they’re smooth and there’s not a lot of movement.

“My poor Dad has to be the guinea pig because he putts first to give me a good read of what the ball is going to do, but he makes some, too. It started to get dark at the end, so that helped to get a good read to make a birdie on the last hole.

“We just have to keep making birdies tomorrow, lots of them, because that’s what it takes to win this.”

Added Mike Thomas, the only instructor his son has ever had: “It was nice out there and it was fun to hit some good drives. I love hitting bunker shots, and hit some good ones. I didn’t make all that many putts, but sometimes the hole gets in the way.”

Team Thomas, which won the 2020 PNC Challenge by one stroke over Team Singh, eagled the third and 14th holes while collecting 11 birdies in their 57 to tie the second-best score in tournament history.

Tiger Woods, hampered by plantar fasciitis in his right foot, and Charlie Woods, who has a sprained left ankle, also had 11 birdies and Dad chipped in for an eagle on the fifth hole in a 59, which Team Singh equaled with an eagle at No. 3 and another 11 birdies—including the last five in a row.

“We had a great run at the beginning, but just couldn’t quite keep up with them at the end,” said Tiger Woods, who nearly lost his right leg in a rollover SUV accident in Southern California nearly two years ago. “But we’re still in it and have a chance to win it with a big day tomorrow.

“This is pretty much what I see from Charlie at home. His ankle was not the best today, but he still had a pretty good day. He’s limping with the left leg and I am with the right, but we still have two good ones.

“We’re team ice bath, and that’s where we’re going right now.”

Added Charlie, who tied for second with his Dad in this event last year: “It’s just a lot of fun being out there in his great event and playing with the Thomases. I hit some good shots today and some not so good ones because of my leg, but overall we played pretty well. I push my Dad as much as I can until he pushes back and then I know that’s enough.”

Bernhard Langer of Germany and his son Jason, who won this tournament in 2014 and 2019, birdied six of the first seven holes and added an eagle at No. 14 on their way to a 60 and are in solo fourth.

Defending champions John Daly and his son John II had 11 birdies in a 61 and are tied for fifth with 2013 champions Stewart Cink and his son Connor, who birdied seven of the first nine holes; Justin Leonard and his son Luke, who had five birdies and an eagle in the first six holes; Mark O’Meara and his son Shaun, who birdied six holes on the front nine and eagled No. 14; Tom Lehman and his son Sean, who birdied seven of the last eight holes; Jordan Spieth and his father Shawn, who birdied the last three holes, and Matt Kuchar and his son Carson, who birdied five of the first six holes.

For complete results, visit

Related Articles

Stay Connected


Latest Articles