Golf legend Tiger Woods has gained attention on social media after he was caught on camera handing tampons to his professional counterparts in what appeared to be a bizarre prank.
Woods, 47, is playing in the first round of the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club in California with Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy.
After Woods hit his tee shot farther than PGA champion Thomas from the ninth tee, he was seen slipping a tampon into Thomas’ hand as they walked down the fairway.
Thomas, 29, a good friend of Woods, threw the thing away and the two laughed together on their way to their next shot.
The implication was that Woods called Thomas a woman because he couldn’t match his drive.
It will be Woods, a 15-time major winner, playing his first tournament since July 2022 at the St. Andrews Open in Scotland.
Two days after Woods played his last at the 2021 Genesis Invitational, he was seriously injured in a car crash that appeared to end his career.
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Neither golfer is the first to cause controversy: Thomas apologized after using a homophobic slur during the 2021 tournament in Hawaii, while Woods watched his marriage break down in 2009 amid a string of infidelity allegations.
The golf community has had a mixed reaction to recent events.
Female golfer Paige Spiranac found it amusing, writing on Twitter: “If anyone tries to take down Tiger for this we will riot”.
However, another Twitter user, Flushing It, who calls himself a “former pro,” asked if the prank fit in with the sport’s attempt to attract more women.
“I don’t think Tiger’s ‘gift’ to JT is helping golf’s image at a time when women’s golf is getting better. Shouldn’t it be fun just because women can’t hit the ball?”
Sky Sports golf presenter Sarah Steele said: “My main feeling is utter surprise, really disappointed to be honest. It’s been rude. It’s dude, stupid behavior – he said ‘look’ , I’ve overtaken you, you tee off like a woman, effectively.
“To me, it says women are inferior to men. That’s not what we want to show in sports.”