Tiger Woods outdrove playing partner and friend Justin Thomas on the par-4 458 yard 9th hole at Riviera during the opening round of the Genesis Invitational on Thursday, Feb. 16. Woods needled his buddy and let him know about it by slyly handing him a tampon.
You would think at 47 and being in the public eye for the majority of his life, the 15-time major golf champion would know better. Alas, he’s still doing stupid, cringey things that get him in trouble.
Tiger’s attempt at humor missed the mark
Woods is a grown adult who should know better. The insinuation that Thomas drives the golf ball like a girl is sophomoric, crude and just stupid.
Woods also is the father to a 15-year-old daughter, Sam Alexis, who plays sports. Does he think that’s setting a good example or letting his daughter know he believes in the power of women playing sports?
It’s sports, so trash talking is totally fine. But misogyny as trash talk is lowbrow and not remotely funny.
But none of this is new for Woods. His “boys-will-be-boys” talk and crude attempts at humor have been going on since he joined the tour as a 21-year-old.
The great features writer Charles Pierce detailed it in the famous 1997 GQ cover story about Woods. Pierce recalls a joke Woods told while being tended to by a group of women stylists at a photo shoot:
“The Little Rascals are at school. The teacher wants them to use various words in sentences. The first word is love. Spanky answers, “I love dogs.” The second is respect. Alfalfa answers, “I respect how much Spanky loves dogs.” The third word is dictate. There is a pause in the room. Finally, Buckwheat puts up his hand.”
“Hey, Darla,” says Buckwheat. “How my dick ta’te?”
Tiger detracting from the real story
The story this week should be about Woods’ return to the tour for the first time since the 150th Open Championship at St. Andrews last July. But instead, this idiotic moment will dominate the news cycle.
Having gone through numerous public missteps, you would think Woods would have a keen understanding of the media cycle by now. It’s presumably why he tried to hand the tampon to Thomas so slyly. But there are thousands of cameras with telephoto lenses, not to mention the television broadcast.
“Yeah, 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.”
As far as on the course, Woods closed out the second round with three bogeys in his final four holes for a 3-over 74. He is 1 over par and expected to make the cut and be around for the weekend.