Tiger Woods Apologizes After Row at Genesis Invitational, Finishes 45th

Tiger Woods returned to competitive golf at the Genesis Invitational in Los Angeles, his first tournament since The Open in July and his first non-major event since a car accident at this tournament nearly ended his career in 2021.[0] However, the 47-year-old golf icon has had to apologize over a row that erupted when he handed fellow golfer Justin Thomas a tampon as a practical joke.[1]

Woods said in a press conference: “It was supposed to be all fun and games and obviously it hasn’t turned out that way. 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. We play pranks on one another all the time and virally, I do not think this came across that way, but between us, it was different.”[2]

Woods went on to finish the Genesis Invitational on Sunday at 1-under 283 by shooting a 2-over 73 in the final round.[3] He finished in a tie for 45th, a good 12 strokes behind Jon Rahm.[4] Woods' performance Friday was not as strong as his opening 18 holes, but he finished top 30 in the field in approach play and consistently hit 175-180 in ball speed with his driver off the tee.[5]

Woods also had to apologize after a ball he hit ended up in a fan’s jacket pocket on the 13th hole at the Genesis Open on Saturday. The fan later told the PGA Tour: “All of a sudden he hit and nobody knows where it went. And all of a sudden I look and I had this bump in my pocket… and I pulled it off and a ball dropped off and it was his.”[6]

Woods' next tournament may be The Masters in April, the first major of the year and a tournament he has won five times.[7] Woods has yet to announce whether he will enter a pre-tournament next month.[8] Despite winning 82 tournaments on the PGA TOUR, Woods doesn’t even have a World Golf Ranking any more.[9] He's now looking to get back in shape physically and mentally so he can give himself a chance to compete at the highest level.

0. “Tiger Woods helped a young fan cross off a bucket-list wish following her heart transplant” msnNOW, 21 Feb. 2023, https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/golf/tiger-woods-helped-a-young-fan-cross-off-a-bucket-list-wish-following-her-heart-transplant/ar-AA17LhMj

1. “Wayward Tiger Woods drive miraculously lands in fan's pocket as icon returns to action” The Mirror, 19 Feb. 2023, https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/golf/tiger-woods-genesis-invitational-news-29256596

2. “Tiger Woods Signing Glove for Fan Mid-Round at Genesis Open Goes Viral” Newsweek, 20 Feb. 2023, https://www.newsweek.com/tiger-woods-signing-glove-fan-mid-round-genesis-open-goes-viral-1782403

3. “”I don't want him on his feet” – Tiger Woods receives message from Joe LaCava at Genesis” Sportskeeda, 20 Feb. 2023, https://www.sportskeeda.com/golf/news-i-want-feet-tiger-woods-receives-message-joe-lacava-genesis

4. “Genesis Invitational: Tiger Woods putting improve thanks to Joe LaCava” Golfweek, 18 Feb. 2023, https://golfweek.usatoday.com/2023/02/18/genesis-invitational-2023-tiger-woods-message-joe-lacava-text

5. “Tiger Woods apologizes for handing tampon to Justin Thomas: ‘Friends having fun'” USA TODAY, 17 Feb. 2023, https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/golf/2023/02/17/tiger-woods-apologizes-handing-tampon-justin-thomas-genesis-invitational/11283544002/

6. “Watch as Tiger Woods’ drive lands in a fan’s JACKET POCKET in his first tournament since The Open…” The Sun, 19 Feb. 2023, https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/21438518/tiger-woods-drive-genesis-jacket-golf/

7. “Tiger Woods produces best performance since car crash as Jon Rahm wins Genesis Invitational to regain world No. 1 spot” CNN, 20 Feb. 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/20/golf/jon-rahm-tiger-woods-genesis-invitational-spt-intl/index.html

8. “Tiger Woods makes major announcement after successful return to PGA Tour” Yahoo Sport Australia, 20 Feb. 2023, https://au.sports.yahoo.com/tiger-woods-major-announcement-successful-return-pga-tour-025338451.html

9. “Will Tiger Woods enter THE PLAYERS — If he does, how will we know?” Ponte Vedra Recorder, 23 Feb. 2023, http://www.pontevedrarecorder.com/stories/will-tiger-woods-enter-the-players-if-he-does-how-will-we-know,40572