Update 2/17/23 at 4:30 p.m.
Woods has since apologized for the tampon joke, per Golf Digest. “It was supposed to be all fun and games, and obviously it hasn’t turned out that way,” he explained of the sexist gesture. “If I offended anybody, it was not the case; it was just friends having fun.”
He added: “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.”
Original story continues below:
Tiger Woods is facing backlash after handing fellow golfer Justin Thomas a tampon after outdriving him during the Genesis Invitational.
During the Los Angeles tournament on Thursday, February 16, the 82-time PGA Tour winner, 47, drove his ball 323 yards down the green, while Thomas, 29, came up around 20 yards short. As the golfers made their way down the course to retrieve the balls, Woods slyly handed his competitor a tampon. Thomas immediately tossed it to the ground.
“Just wtf was Tiger Woods thinking?” one Twitter user responded to Woods’ joke. “As if the classless and sexist overtones weren’t bad enough, it’s simply not funny. #GenesisInvitational.”
“Tiger woods is a sexist pig,” another person tweeted. “Confirms what I’ve always thought. Tiger Woods is an extremely weird 4 year old,” wrote another social media user.
Others, however, came to the athlete’s defense. “@TigerWoods handing @JustinThomas34 a tampon mid round yesterday after he out drove him after not playing competitive golf for nearly a year was hilarious, seriously [people] are so soft! Laugh! It’s funny and it’s Tiger, he’s having fun you should too,” one fan tweeted.
Another wrote, “You think tiger woods actually dislikes women bc he made this joke? It’s a joke, it’s funny, lighten up.”
In 2009, the legendary golfer infamously came under fire after admitting to being unfaithful to his then-wife, Elin Nordegren, with whom he shares two children: daughter Sam, 15, and son Charlie, 14. He and the model, 43, who wed in 2004 divorced one year after the scandal.
“I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart. I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves,” Woods shared on his website at the time. “I am not without faults and I am far short of perfect. I am dealing with my behavior and personal failings behind closed doors with my family. Those feelings should be shared by us alone.”
In a separate statement, he acknowledged “the disappointment and hurt that my infidelity has caused to so many people, most of all my wife and children.”
After dating Olympian Lindsey Vonn from 2012 to 2015, the California native has been in a relationship with Erica Herman since 2017.
Woods has also dealt with his fair share of injuries over the years. He was involved in a serious single-car collision in February 2021, during which he had to be “extricated from the wreck with the ‘jaws of life’ by Los Angeles County firefighters and paramedics,” the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement at the time. He subsequently underwent surgery for “multiple leg injuries,” his manager, Mark Steinberg, told Golf Digest after the crash.
“[There] was a point in time when, I wouldn’t say it was 50/50, but it was damn-near there if I was going to walk out of that hospital with one leg,” Woods told Golf.com in November 2021.
The 2023 Genesis Invitational marks Woods’ first time back on a PGA Tour after the incident. Since nearly losing his leg after the crash, Woods was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in March 2022 and won the 2022 Masters tournament that April.
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!