Tiger Woods wraps up a family weekend at the PNC Championship; what's next?

At a time when the news out of the golf world is pretty much unrelentingly grim, and the azaleas of Augusta seem a long way away, the PNC Championship offered up a tiny bit of fun, largely in the person of 14-year-old Charlie Woods.

Son of the 15-time major winner, Charlie demonstrated an ever-improving game as Tiger Woods took the next step in his ongoing recovery from ankle fusion surgery. Nobody who's not actually playing in the PNC Championship honestly cares what the final scores are, but for the record, Team Woods finished 64-61 for the tournament to end up six strokes behind Team (Bernhard) Langer.

The highlight — besides seeing Tiger Woods in Sunday red, a tradition since the 1990s — came Sunday, when Charlie chipped in on the ninth and unleashed a familiar-looking fist pump:

The atmosphere at Woods' media conferences was a strange one; the PNC is supposed to be an offseason parent-child shootaround that celebrates golf's generational bridges ... and yet a whole lot of major figures in golf are in the process of setting bridges on fire.

Woods teed off on softballs about his health and Charlie's development, and sidestepped more serious questions about Jon Rahm's departure for LIV Golf ("We assumed it was just speculation till it happened") and the impending deadline for an agreement between the PGA Tour and Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund ("We're trying to get a deal done with all of the different entities that we have going on here").

Woods was able to use a cart at the PNC Championship, which he obviously won't be able to do at future PGA Tour events. He also had the joy of walking with daughter Sam as his caddy, and flashed a bit of the old Woods game as he worked his way back into playing shape.

"A lot of things are aching a lot more than my ankle, which is the way it goes," he said. "It's been nice to knock off a lot of the rust and some of the doubt that I've had because quite frankly I haven't hit a shot that counted in a long time."

Going forward, Woods believes he'll be able to play roughly one tournament a month, potentially beginning in February with the Genesis Open and then rolling forward with The Players, the Masters, the PGA Championship, the U.S. Open and the Open Championship. How well he'll play is anyone's guess, but the fact that he'll be on the course at all is an improvement over most of the last few years.

"I know if I can practice, I know I can still do it," Woods said. "I can still hit the golf ball. I can still chip. I can still putt. Granted, it's also putting it all together for 72 holes. That's the challenging part of it."