Charlie Woods fails to qualify for Cognizant Classic: What they're saying about Tiger's son

Thursday's Cognizant Classic pre-qualifier was a measuring stick for Charlie Woods, the 15-year-old son of 15-time major winner Tiger Woods.

Woods carded a 16-over 86 at Lost Lake Golf Club in Hobe Sound, and social media had its thoughts on how the youngster fared in his first attempt at making the cut for a PGA Tour event.

Some were more understanding than others of the fact that Woods is a high school freshman, who just got his learner's permit to drive this month.

More: Charlie Woods fails to qualify for Cognizant Classic: What they're saying about Tiger's son

In a bittersweet Instagram post featuring a photo of Woods holding his hat down over his face, fan account "charliewoodstrk" reassured he still has "all the support" from his fans, writing:

"Tough to see Charlie like that, but these are the days you learn from. This is where you build the fire inside to keep practicing hard and become a better golfer and person."

Under a breakdown of Woods' scorecard on the app, user Randy Townsend had a similar message.

"First steps into that world without dad to back him up, he will learn from it and get better," he wrote.

A lagging start began with a pair of bogeys and a double bogey before the seventh hole, a par-4 that took Woods 12 strokes to finish. Although his back nine included another double bogey and two more bogeys, Woods made the turn at 11-over 47 and finished with a 39 on the back nine.

Charlie Woods walks to the 15th green during pre-qualifying for The Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches at Lost Lake Golf Club on February 22, 2024 in Hobe Sound, Florida.
Charlie Woods walks to the 15th green during pre-qualifying for The Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches at Lost Lake Golf Club on February 22, 2024 in Hobe Sound, Florida.

"Put that 12 to a par and that's not bad. We all make mistakes," commenter Vinny Laroux noted. "He's got the best mentor there is. He will come back with vengeance."

Instagram user Raul Labardini asked, "How many of us would love to shoot 86 from the tips?!?!! At 15 no less!!!!"

Another user, OV Garner II, proved Labardini's point in a separate Instagram post.

"I wish I could make a 12 on a hole and still shoot an 86," he lamented.

Meanwhile, "nymortgagepro" Jeremy G. was quick to question Woods' decision to enter a PGA Tour qualifier so early in his green career:

"Majors? He can't even beat the other 15 year olds. Slow down guy."

Instagram user Landon Smith congratulated Woods, saying, "Dude, good for him getting out there!"

"Takes a lot of guts to do something like that at his age. Especially when your dad is the greatest golfer of all time and all the schmucks are just waiting for you to fail. Keep grinding, Charlie!"

And sometimes milestones, good or bad, are just not enough for fans who feel they're owed only the best because they've followed the younger Woods since birth.

Some golf fans tired of reading about Tiger and Charlie Woods

Other commentators seemed to be tired of reading about Charlie.

A litany from Vincent Iglesias, better known as "vinrock824", read:

"For all the defenders of Mr. Charlie Woods, you have to understand some people are tired of hearing about the kid, and some people really weren't Tiger Woods fans, and some people are just gonna hate so instead of defending the 15 year-old kid, how about you realize that the only reason he's getting this type of attention or opportunity is because of who his daddy is and not what he's done on his own merits"

Harkening to Tiger's struggles with back spasms and lingering knee injuries, below Iglesias' comment, "Shank_Guru" asked: "Didn't the old man teach him to have 'an illness' when the round went south?"

Veli Mercan of Antalya Golf Club, a PGA National affiliate based in Turkey, also chimed in with his analysis under the post by GolfMagic.

"You're close to me, but very far from your father. You should work harder, kid," Mercan said.

"Badboybronco" on Instagram understood that Woods is only 15, but still found Thursday "was a terrible learning experience," citing that the kid is "way better than that score."

Instagram user Tom Eckhoff said he got "about what I expected" from Woods' round. "He's not even close to pro level," Eckhoff said. "No clue why everyone was hyping it up."

At 11 years old, Woods made his debut in what's become an annual appearance in the PNC Championship after previously caddying for Tiger. Per the PGA Tour, Woods has a +3 handicap with the Florida State Golf Association. Golfers on the PGA Tour require hopeful qualifiers to carry a 2 handicap or better. Zephyr Melton's analysis of 2,305,672 male golfers who kept a handicap through the USGA in 2021 determined that 14 was the average handicap for men in the United States.

App user Lawrence Benson, who indicates that he has a handicap of 12 in his Instagram bio, had a special introduction for Woods.

"Welcome to real life, silverspoon."

Below an Instagram post from Golf Monthly, Amit Dhari Sinha only saw "potential," highlighting Woods' 11 pars on a PGA course at his green age, and his recovery was even more impressive considering the circumstances.

Social media gallery takes aim at out-of-control spectators following Charlie Woods

With no ropes barring the gallery from keeping their distance from Woods, a lack of better security throughout the 18-hole course raised concerns of its own. The social media gallery was disgruntled by spectators forgoing traditional golf etiquette, diving in bushes for out-of-bounds balls and making requests for Woods' signature, only to be infuriated upon rejection.

More: Everything you need to know about the Cognizant Classic in the Palm Beaches

David Ubben, a writer for The Athletic, posted to X: "If events this low on the totem pole are going to invite people that bring big crowds, you can't have this."

"Fans asking for autographs during rounds and getting mad when they get denied? That's ridiculous. He's 15," Ubben said.

"This stinks."

Emilee Smarr is a sports reporter for the Palm Beach Post. She can be reached via email at

This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Charlie Woods golf qualifier: Fans react on Twitter, Instagram