Charlie Woods plays first PGA Tour pre-qualifier, and things get fairly ugly

Charlie Woods plays first PGA Tour pre-qualifier, and things get fairly ugly

Aggressive autograph seekers.

Argumentative fans getting a little too close.

Even one grandmother who pulled her daughter out of school in hopes that Tiger Woods’ 15-year-old son would notice her.

That was the scene, according to a Palm Beach Post report, as Charlie Woods competed in his first PGA Tour pre-qualifier on Thursday in Hobe Sound, Florida.

Some 50 spectators, reporters and photographers followed along as Woods, just a freshman in high school, teed it up in the 18-hole qualifier at Lost Lake Golf Club, vying to earn a spot in Monday’s open qualifier for the Cognizant Classic at the Palm Beaches. The Tour’s social-media team was there as well to capture footage of Woods arriving to the course for his 7:30 a.m. tee time. Tiger Woods did not attend, though Charlie’s mom, Elin Nordegren, did.

Woods shot 16-over 86 to miss advancing by 19 shots in the first pre-q of his young golf career.

It likely wasn't the round envisioned by Woods, highlighted by a 12 on the par-4 seventh hole, but it was nowhere near as unsightly as the crowd, which routinely disobeyed marshals’ requests to get out of the fairways on the rope-less layout, according to the Post’s report. Fans dove in bushes looking to snag Woods’ out-of-bounds tee shots. A woman became agitated when she asked Woods to sign a copy of one of Tiger Woods’ books and a tournament official told her no.

The Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches - Pre-Qualifying
The Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches - Pre-Qualifying

“Woods' already bad day could have been worse if not for his two-man security detail, which included a Martin County sheriff's deputy,” wrote the Post’s Emilee Smarr, who was on site.

“Charlie is a great kid and it was great playing with him,” Olin Browne Jr., Woods' playing competitor and the son of three-time Tour winner Olin Browne, told “It’s definitely the most people I’ve ever seen at a pre-qualifier. Charlie’s got a beautiful golf game. It’s tough to come out here and play a professional event at 15 years old. I think he conducted himself beautifully. He didn’t have his best stuff today, but he hit some high-quality shots.”

Thirty-one players moved on to the Monday qualifier out of the four pre-q sites, including Austin Lemieux, son of hockey great Mario Lemieux, and Julius Boros, the grandson of the late three-time major winner by the same name. Luis Gagne, Patrick Flavin and Kamaiu Johnson were other notables who advanced.