ORLANDO, FLORIDA – Two-time U.S. Open winner Retief Goosen will wear several hats when making his PNC Father/Son Challenge debut alongside son, Leo, this year.
The 47-year-old South African will take on the role of swing coach, mental coach and, most importantly, dad, when the duo tee it up at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Orlando, Florida, Dec. 8-11.
As an eighth-grader, Leo plays on the varsity golf team at Lake Highland Preparatory School in Orlando. He also competes on the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour and U.S. Kids Golf Tour.
“Leo is quite intense and he takes that to the golf course,” said Goosen, who stressed that he tries to teach his son patience through golf. “I try to get him to stay positive.”
He continued, “We practice together a lot and I coach Leo. He’s a long hitter for his age, his iron play is strong and he has a great swing, but I think he may have a little to learn on the mental side.”
A 40-time winner globally and seven time winner on the PGA TOUR, the elder Goosen maintains a competitive playing schedule in the U.S. and Europe. He and Leo will be joined by John Daly and his son, Little John, as newcomers to the PNC Father/Son Challenge this season.
Team Goosen will prepare for the tournament on the range at Isleworth Golf & Country Club in nearby Windermere.
“I’ve seen the event on the TV quite a few times and it’s a great format,” he said. “To watch Nicklaus, Floyd and all the great players with their sons playing is wonderful. It’s such a unique event.”
Jack Nicklaus and Raymond Floyd are two of the 13 World Golf Hall of Fame fathers who will return to the PNC Father/Son Challenge alongside their children.
Over the 19 years of the tournament, 24 World Golf Hall of Fame Members have played in the championship, averaging 67 percent of the professional field each year. The winning team of the two-day, 36-hole scramble receives the Willie Park Trophy, in memory of the father and son British Open champions Willie Park Sr. and Willie Park Jr. This year’s purse is $1,085,000.
NBC Sports and Golf Channel will team up to provide eight hours of weekend coverage for the PNC Father/Son Challenge:
Friday, Dec.9: Pro-Am Special, airing at 4 p.m. ET (Golf Channel)
Saturday, Dec. 10: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. ET (Golf Channel) and 4-6 p.m. ET (NBC)
Sunday, Dec. 11: 2-3 p.m. ET (Golf Channel) and 3-6 p.m. ET (NBC)