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Young Woods, bubbly Kim and big-hitter Wilco: golf talking points

Daniel HICKS
·4-min read

A family affair, champagne celebrations and some very, very long drives feature in AFP Sport's golf talking points this week:

- Tiger and cub -

Much excitement is being generated by the news that Tiger Woods and his 15-year-old son Charlie will team up for the first time on a golf course at the PNC Championship over the weekend of December 19-20 in Orlando, Florida.

And judging by footage on social media, young Charlie is a chip off the old block when it comes to swinging a club with an action eerily reminiscent of his 15-time major-winning father.

But though the all-conquering Woods senior and son have been installed among the favourites for the event, where 20 major-winners partner a family member, they face some stiff competition.

Also teeing up will be world number three Justin Thomas and his father Mike, who is a golf teaching professional in the family's home state of Kentucky.

Matt Kuchar and his 13-year son Cameron and Tom Lehman and 25-year-old Tom Junior are expected also to be among the challengers.

But don't rule out the defending champions, 63-year-old Bernhard Langer and son Jason, 20, who plays on the University of Pennsylvania team.

Bernhard is in tip-top form having just become the oldest player to make the cut at the Masters, where he finished tied 29th at three-under par, and Jason will be raring for some action after his collegiate season was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

- Drunk on success -

Having shaken off the tag of being the best player never to win a women's major when she broke through at the PGA Championship last month, South Korea's Kim Sei-young wasted no time in adding a 12th LPGA Tour title on her next tournament outing last weekend.

The 27-year-old Kim's remarkable consistency -- she also has 51 top-10 finishes since making her LPGA debut in 2015, and has not finished lower than tied 18th this year -- means she is now within a whisker of becoming world number one for the first time.

Kim is now the third most prolific South Korean LPGA player of all time, trailing only Park In-bee who has 20 wins and Pak Se-ri (25) whose PGA Championship victory in 1998 inspired an explosion of female Korean golfing talent.

So Kim could be forgiven for wanting to celebrate a little, after victory at the Pelican Championship in Florida on Sunday, though a drenching in champagne left her a little tipsy, she giggled afterwards.

"My friends put it on my head, and then my T-shirt and everything. I feel like I take a shower in the champagne," Kim laughed.

"Then I drink a little bit and feel, you know, a little drunk."

- Move over Bryson -

Everyone has been fixated by Bryson DeChambeau's quest for speed and power this year but a young South African has smacked a drive that echoed around the world.

Wilco Nienaber's 439-yard rocket off the tee at the 597-yard par-five fourth hole in the opening round of the European Tour's Joburg Open -- albeit heavily altitude-assisted -- launched the 20-year-old into global golfing headlines.

But South Africa's Nienaber, the longest hitter on the European Tour with a driving average of 336.81 yards, found on the 72nd hole that length isn't everything.

One shot adrift of eventual winner Joachim B Hansen, an adrenalin-fuelled Nienaber managed to find a fairway bunker almost 300 yards from the tee with an iron at the uphill 507-yard par four closing hole.

It enabled Denmark's Hansen to claim his maiden European Tour title by two strokes -- a bitter end for big-hitter Nienaber, whose downfall came from a shot that flew too far.

- World rankings -

Top 10s, week beginning November 23, 2020:


1. Dustin Johnson (USA) 12.91

2. Jon Rahm (ESP) 10.36

3. Justin Thomas (USA) 9.55

4. Rory McIlroy (NIR) 7.55

5. Collin Morikawa (USA) 7.33

6. Bryson DeChambeau (USA) 7.32 (+1)

7. Webb Simpson (USA) 7.24 (-1)

8. Xander Schauffele (USA) 7.20

9. Patrick Cantlay (USA) 6.42

10. Tyrrell Hatton (ENG) 6.21


116. Robert Streb (USA) 1.39 (+264)

152. Joachim B. Hansen (DEN) 1.11 (+78)

209. Wilco Nienaber (RSA) 0.85 (+86)


1. Ko Jin-young (KOR) 7.79

2. Kim Sei-young (KOR) 7.38

3. Nelly Korda (USA) 6.59

4. Danielle Kang (USA) 6.40

5. Park In-bee (KOR) 6.18

6. Brooke Henderson (CAN) 5.81 (+1)

7. Nasa Hataoka (JPN) 5.71 (-1)

8. Minjee Lee (AUS) 5.25

9. Park Sung-hyun (KOR) 4.99

10. Kim Hyo-joo Kim (KOR) 4.90