Graeme McDowell has labeled Tiger Woods the epitome of ‘Golf’ and the ‘PGA Tour’ ahead of Woods’ return to competition later this week in Orlando.
Woods will tee-up, with 12-year-old son Charlie as his partner, in the 25th edition of the PNC Championship on the Ritz Carlton course.
McDowell is yet to contest the event with any member of his own family, but has joined the huge chorus of fellow Tour stars excited Woods will be back inside the ropes for a first time since February’s near-fatal car crash.
“It’s exciting and we are all curious to see how healthy he looks”, said McDowell.
“It will be great to see him back as he is golf, and he is the PGA Tour. It’s just amazing to have him back”.
The event was known as the PNC Father-and-Son but in recent years the daughters of players have been teeing-up, including a year ago when Jackie Langer partnered her dad while Swedish great Annika Sorenstam teamed with her father.
Thursday and Friday will be two-days of pro-ams with the competition proper being held over Saturday and Sunday.
McDowell has also spoken of his early new 2022 season schedule confirming he will celebrate the start of his 21st season in the pro-ranks at the January 13-16 Sony Open in Hawaii and then in the following fortnight’s Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.
GMac will then head to the Middle East, not contesting either the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship or Dubai Desert Classic but confirming he intends to tee-up in the February 3rd to 6th and fourth edition of the Saudi International.
“I am not planning to play anything in the Middle East apart from the Saudi International with the PGA Tour being my main focus”, he said.
“I am contracted to go to Saudi and I will go there, if permitted”.
McDowell won the second Saudi International in 2019 and will be joining fellow Irishman Shane Lowry in now Asian Tour’s flagship event, after what was a very bitter split following three years under the European Tour banner.
However, as McDowell hinted above, his Saudi showing and that of all non-Asian Tour member players, could all hinge on being afforded a ‘release’ by the PGA Tour and/or DP World Tour to tee-up along the Red Sea.