Tiger Woods had an impressive start to the 2023 Genesis Invitational in the opening round on Thursday, as he shot a 2-under 69 in his first appearance at a regular PGA Tour event since 2020. In the midst of his strong first-round performance, Woods decided to play a prank on his playing partner and longtime friend Justin Thomas, handing Thomas a tampon after outdriving him on the ninth hole.
Thomas could be seen taking the tampon from Woods while the two shared a laugh. Thomas ended up discarding the tampon immediately as they walked off the tee together.
Following his second round on Friday, Woods issued an apology for his actions.
“It was supposed to be fun and games, but it obviously hasn’t turned out that way. If I offended anybody in any way, shape or form, I’m sorry,” Woods said on Friday. “It was not intended to be that way. We play pranks on one another all the time. Virally, this did not come across that way.”
The prank resulted in a fair amount of criticism thrown in Woods’ direction.
Woods finished his round with birdies on each of the final three holes at Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles. The Genesis Invitational marked Woods’ first tournament appearance overall since the 2022 Open Championship at St. Andrew’s in which he finished +9 and failed to make the cut.
The 15-time major champion took some time away from the golf course as he continued to recover from lower leg injuries that he suffered in a car crash back in February 2021.
Despite the prank, Woods still had plenty of support from the crowd at Riviera Country Club as several “Ti-ger” chants broke out throughout the day. He finished the day five shots behind leaders Max Homa and Keith Mitchell.