Tiger Woods Pranks His Playing Partners with a Tampon: Fans React to the Controversial Move

Tiger Woods is back in action on the PGA Tour and he’s already making waves.[0] On Thursday, Woods, Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy teed off at the Genesis Invitational Open in Pacific Palisades, California. Woods returned to competitive action for the first time since the 2020 Open Championship at St Andrews, and the 15-time major champion delighted fans with a two-under-par round of 69, which included three consecutive birdies to finish his round.[1]

The trio enjoyed a great round of golf filled with banter and needling each other. On the ninth hole, Woods outdrove Thomas and handed him a tampon after his drive, which was met with a mixed response on social media.[2] Woods finished his round tied for 27th, five shots off the pace, while McIlroy and Thomas finished tied for fourth and 14th respectively.[3]

Speaking on his relationship with his two playing partners, Woods said in a press conference afterwards: “It was nice that I had this unbelievable pairing, two great guys, two great friends. The ebb and flow of needling each other, encouraging each other and telling stories. There’s nothing like come game time, just the feeling of the butterflies and trying to calm all that stuff down. The adrenaline, the ball goes further. Even though it’s cold out here, it was going even further than we expected. I had to dial all that back in.”[0]

The prank Woods pulled on Thomas drew a lot of attention from viewers, with golf influencer Paige Spiranac even weighing in on the subject. “If anyone tries to cancel Tiger over this we riot. It’s funny,” she tweeted.[4] Meanwhile, lawyer Ann Olivarius added: “See, it’s funny because feminine hygiene products are INHERENTLY emasculating, so when a man makes another man touch a tampon, he’s saying ‘I am a bigger and better man than you, because, GROSS, I made you touch a wrapped Tampax!’”[5]

Woods, Thomas and McIlroy have been friends for a long time, so it’s not surprising to see the former pulling pranks on the latter. However, the reasons behind Woods’ prank are unclear and it has been met with both laughter and criticism.

0. “Tiger Woods Hands Justin Thomas A Tampon After Outdriving Him During Genesis Invitational Opening Round” Sportslens.com, 17 Feb. 2023, https://sportslens.com/news/tiger-woods-hands-justin-thomas-a-tampon-after-outdriving-him-during-genesis-invitational-opening-round

1. “Woods hands tampon to Thomas in bizarre prank over driving distance” Evening Standard, 17 Feb. 2023, https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/golf/tiger-woods-justin-thomas-tampon-prank-genesis-invitational-b1061140.html

2. “Tiger Woods hands Justin Thomas feminine hygiene product after outdriving him” AL.com, 17 Feb. 2023, https://www.al.com/sports/2023/02/tiger-woods-hands-justin-thomas-feminine-hygiene-product-after-outdriving-him.html

3. “Tiger Woods gave Justin Thomas a tampon on golf course” Larry Brown Sports, 17 Feb. 2023, https://larrybrownsports.com/golf/tiger-woods-gave-justin-thomas-a-tampon-on-golf-course/611600

4. “Paige Spiranac makes Phil Mickelson joke after Tiger Woods hands tampon to PGA rival” The Mirror, 17 Feb. 2023, https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/golf/paige-spiranac-tiger-woods-mickelson-29242077

5. “Tiger Woods hands Justin Thomas a tampon after outdriving him at the Genesis International” KTVZ, 17 Feb. 2023, https://ktvz.com/news/2023/02/17/tiger-woods-hands-justin-thomas-a-tampon-after-outdriving-him-at-the-genesis-international