Tiger Woods has apologized for the tampon prank he played on Justin Thomas during the first round of the 2023 Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club.
The incident, which occurred on the 9th hole after Woods outdrove Thomas by 10 yards, has caused a flurry of social media reaction, with some describing it as “crass” while others have been able to see the funny side.
Woods responded following a second-round 74 in which he put himself in danger of missing the cut on his latest return to competitive action, insisting it was a joke between friends and that no offence was intended.
Tiger Woods apologises after he drew criticism for handing a tampon to Justin Thomas during the first round of the Genesis Open. pic.twitter.com/Ix0e73u43VFebruary 17, 2023
“It was supposed to be all fun and games and obviously it hasn’t turned out that way,” Woods said. “If I offended anybody, it was not the case, it was just friends having fun.
“As I said, if I offended anybody in any way, shape or form, I’m sorry. It was not intended to be that way. It was just we play pranks on one another all the time and virally I think this did not come across that way, but between us it was — it’s different.”
The sombre tone created by this gesture was in stark contrast to the mood late on Thursday evening when Woods finished with three consecutive birdies to post a two-under 69 and spark wild celebrations on Riviera’s iconic closing stretch.
However, he was unable to back up his fine day one display and put himself in danger of missing the weekend following three bogeys in his final four holes of round two that dropped him to one-over for the tournament at the halfway mark.
“I did not putt well today, I blocked a lot of putts early and this is probably the highest score I could have shot today” he added. “Probably should have shot probably five or six better than this easily.
“Just didn’t make the putts early and the middle part of the round when I had those opportunities. And they weren’t very hard putts, I just hit bad putts and obviously had a very bad finish, too.”
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