Time to let the 12-year old play in peace

John Craven

Tiger Woods and Charlie Woods (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Of all the weeks to take off in this profession, I thought the middle of December was a safe bet. To Spain we flew. 18 degrees. Sunshine. And one promise to myself: Avoid Twitter and all its evil ways.

I tried my best, honestly, but with word of new restrictions coming in, and Christmas around the corner, the little screen of dread came out of my pocket more often than it should, just in case the goal-posts shifted and heaven forbid, the cheap beers and tapas had to continue a little while longer.

Dr. Evil himself, Tony and his cronies threatened to ruin holiday bliss but between the miserable and predictable announcements, a ray of light emerged from Twitter gloom: The PNC Championship, or golf’s fifth Major, going by the coverage. To think I almost missed it.


Back home on Sunday night I tuned in to see what all the fuss was about. A limping Tiger and his able cub trying to hunt down two Wildebeests in Team Daly. And I’ll admit, I was into it, far more into it than I have been for most regular season tournaments during what’s felt like an awfully long year. That said, I was into it for what it was supposed to be – “a hit and giggle” – not the third coming of Tiger Woods who according to the overzealous commentary was “pushing it more than he ever has” to claim an elusive… PNC title.

There was an avalanche of fawning over Woods and 12-year old Charlie on Twitter. The student had become the master; Charlie carrying ‘Pops’ down the stretch with tunnel vision for the line. 25 years they’d watched Tiger do it. It was all too familiar. A reincarnation. The same mannerisms, club twirls and death stares of a certain 15-time Major winner. Then ‘Long’ and not so Little John spoiled the party like Stewart Cink did Tom Watson’s, only this time I didn’t mind.

Why? Because I’m not gonna lie, I found it all a tad over the top last night, and considering the hysteria second place was met with, I’m not sure I could’ve handled victory…. but I wasn’t going to tell Twitter that!

“I might cry this is so beautiful,” wrote one journalist. “We need a whoop reading on Charlie, STAT,” rallied another, in reference to the ice running through the pre-teen’s veins.

And hey, compared to Government briefings, I guess in a way it was kind of nice to see a bit of positivity floating about, only this was a lot of positivity. Too much, in my mind, for surprise Dad of the Year contender, Tiger, and his 12-year old son who, if like most 12 year olds can access the internet, could be excused for thinking the world is expecting a lot of this life he’s barely lived.

But what do I know? I don’t have kids, and until the day comes that a tiny hand half my creation curls its wrinkly skin around my pinky, I’ll never feel what Twitter felt last night. I’ll never understand why putting the weight of the world on a 12-year old’s body is the right thing to do. I’ve had too much uninterrupted sleep to see clearly that it’s not McIlroy or Morikawa or the game’s leading amateurs but the boy Charlie himself who’s the heir apparent; a messiah sent from the golfing gods to fill the void once Tiger inevitably turns senior.

And don’t get me wrong, I hope one day I’ll see it, but for now, and I mean this in the nicest possible way, I hope I don’t see 12-year old Charlie until the next PNC. One day I think he’ll understand why.

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2 responses to “Time to let the 12-year old play in peace”

  1. Mary wakshe avatar
    Mary wakshe

    I thought,Tiger looked aged and in some pain. His fathering was something..giving the kid all the affection and love he never got. Thats just what makes life bearable sometimes.

  2. Barbara avatar

    I couldn’t agree more! Leave the kid alone! He needs to grow up privately, away from media (except for the PNC perhaps?) at least until he’s in College.

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