Tiger Woods handed Justin Thomas a tampon on the ninth hole of the Genesis Invitational during the first round, and the pair were seen laughing and embracing after the incident.
Tiger Woods is under fire for passing a tampon to Justin Thomas after outdriving him in the first round of the Genesis Invitational on Thursday.
Woods was paired with Thomas and Rory McIlroy at Riviera Country Club as the 15-time major champion returned to competitive golf for the first time in seven months, having last competed at the Open Championship in St Andrews in July.
At the Los Angeles course, the 47-year-old was able to outdrive both of his younger opponents on several occasions, and on the ninth hole, Woods hit it further than Thomas and then handed him a tampon as the pair walked towards their second shots.
Thomas, the world No. 7, took the tampon before quickly dropping it on the floor, followed by laughter and embraces.
In their post-round interviews, neither Woods nor Thomas were asked about the incident.
The American duo, along with four-time major champion McIlroy, will play together again on Friday in an attempt to make the cut and advance to the weekend at the PGA Tour event.
Woods finished the first round on two-under par, five shots behind leaders Keith Mitchell and Max Homa.
What has been the reaction?
“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!” tweeted Dr Ann Olivarius, a lawyer specialising in equality and anti-discrimination litigation.
Julie DiCaro, an author and lawyer, tweeted: “Ugh. All the guys find this amusing, but the joke is demeaning to women. So worn out and stupid.”
“I need a LIV vs PGA tour Ryder Cup type event just so Tiger can give Phil a tampon after out driving him,” golf influencer Paige Spiranac tweeted.
Ireland rugby player Anna Caplice tweeted: “I could see the funny side of this if the world generally respected women. However, this is not the case. As a result, I don’t.”
What is the nature of Woods’ relationship with Thomas?
Woods, 47, and Thomas, 29, have grown close over the years and now live near each other in Florida.
The two have played together numerous times, with their bond shining brightest at the PNC Championship, where Woods and his 14-year-old son Charlie were paired with Thomas and his father.
Woods described their relationship as follows: “We’ve grown so close that I think Charlie is Justin’s long-lost little brother, and Justin is my long-lost little brother. We are extremely close with the family and do a lot of things together, and it would be wonderful to be able to repeat that experience tomorrow.”
When asked about Woods while he was recovering from a car accident in 2021 that left him with serious injuries, Thomas became visibly emotional. He stated: “I’m feeling sick to my stomach. It hurts to see one of my closest friends involved in an accident, and I just hope he’s okay. I’m only concerned about his children. They must be struggling.”