Woods is recovering from a car accident on Tuesday that left his legs badly damaged. In an update on Friday from his Twitter account, the 45-year-old was described as “in a good mood” and grateful for the “wonderful support” he received. He is hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and has undergone additional procedures after the first surgery to repair two open fractures and an ankle injury on his right leg.
Phil Mickelson, his formerly cool relationship with Woods that has long since improved, tried to swap his trademarked black outfit for Woods red and black at a Champions Tour event in Tucson. Mickelson, who played in the US state of Arizona, found that most of the red shirts for sale had the rival University of Arizona logo on them. He wore a black zip-up sweater with a red collar that peeked out discreetly and its logo covered.
“So two things happened today. I wore red in honor of Tiger on Sunday to let him know that the players support him and appreciate everything he’s done. And I had to buy a red shirt and of course every red shirt here has a capital A, ”said Mickelson, adding a little wisecrack. “I hope he knows we support him because it was a lot for me to do.”
Woods also received the show of support at the World Golf Championship Workday Championship in Bradenton, Florida, where Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Patrick Reed, and others wore their concern for him on their sleeves and elsewhere.
McIlroy reportedly wore red and black for the first time in his career when he began a pairing with Reed in the finals.
“We are very happy that he is still here,” McIlroy said of Woods on Wednesday (via golf.com). “I think we should pay tribute to him every day for being on the PGA Tour and for what he did for golf.”
Others who competed in Woods Sunday colors at the Workday Championship were Tony Finau, Jason Day, Tommy Fleetwood, Cameron Champ, Scottie Scheffler, Min Woo Lee and Sebastian Muñoz. Some players, including Bryson DeChambeau, Jason Day and Matt Kuchar, were reportedly playing a Bridgestone ball that was labeled “Tiger”.
One of Woods’ closest friends on the tour, Thomas was emotional on Tuesday speaking to reporters in Bradenton after the first news about Woods broke.
“I’m sick in the stomach,” said Thomas then. “You know, it hurts to see one of my closest friends having an accident. Man I just hope he’s fine. Just worry about his kids, you know I am sure they will fight. “
On Saturday night, Thomas tweeted a photo of a shirt with tight red stripes and black pants. “Seemed fitting for tomorrow like the kind of week we had,” he wrote. “Black and Red on Sunday for TW!”
Thomas, who was dropped by longtime apparel sponsor Ralph Lauren last month after hearing a homophobic slur pronounce during a tournament, tweeted Saturday that he was considering taking the Woods tribute further by buying a Nike turtleneck . However, he said he couldn’t find a way to get a current sponsor, Citi, “embroidered on the sleeve” fast enough. With a shirt that was more pink than red, Jon Rahm also seemed to be paying as much tribute as he could reasonably be given what he had on hand.
Max Homa, who won the Genesis Invitational last week, a tournament hosted by Woods at the Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles, tweeted Saturday that he had “not packed red and black for this road trip” and had come to Florida, before he found out about the crash.
“I’ll try to pay my respects to TW tomorrow by playing some really great finals round golf,” he wrote. “I hope to see a lot of red and blackout there!”
When Homa responded to online criticism for not appearing to be doing Woods to show him his respect, Homa noted that he couldn’t just buy a red shirt because of the problem of putting up sponsorship logos. He said on Twitter on Saturday night that the flak he took was “the strangest thing I’ve seen on this platform.”
“I love tigers more than you. Promise me, ”Homa tweeted. “Listen to an interview from last week. Red and black tomorrow don’t prove that. A lifelong attempt to mimic his approach to golf is successful. “
In his comments earlier this week, McIlroy pointed out that while he and other players planned to pay tribute to Woods, some of the response to the crash seemed more appropriate for a worse result.
“He’s not gone,” McIlroy then said (via golf.com). “He’s got some pretty serious injuries, but he’ll be fine. It’s not like – I watched some of the coverage yesterday and they spoke like he was gone. It’s like he’s had a car accident. It was really bad, he’s very lucky to be here, which is great, but I mean that’s the extent of it. “
At the same time, Wood’s injuries could prove to be the end of his career, and PGA Tour players know exactly how much he has meant to their sport, as well as to them personally and professionally.
“Everyone I spoke to was in a strange mood because of the news,” Xander Schauffele said at the Workday Championship this week. “I spoke to my caddy about the impact it had on the game of golf. It’s not good for us, not good for the game of golf. We can only hope that he is fine and that he will recover quickly. “
When Finau said this week that Wood’s breathtaking runaway win at the 1997 Masters “changed the course of my life,” he told reporters, “Without this event I probably wouldn’t be here, wouldn’t play golf, so he’s definitely changed the course of my life, my career. I’m one of hundreds of people out here who would probably say the same thing. It means a lot to the game, but I think it means a lot to us, just individually, especially to me. “
Round three leader Collin Morikawa wore a gray shirt with his black pants on Sunday – he said he intended to wear red and black but the clothes he was sent never arrived – but after holding back from the field had to win the Workday Championship, he showed some emotion while talking about how much Woods means to him.
After an interviewer pointed out to Morikawa that he was the only player besides Woods to win both a WGC event and a major before he was 25, he said, “Tiger means everything to me.”
“Yes he had the crash and luckily he is fine and hopefully he has a quick and great recovery but I don’t think we’d say thank you enough so I want to thank Tiger,” added Morikawa as he spoke turned towards the camera.
“Because sometimes you lose people too soon, like Kobe [Bryant]”Continued Morikawa, who, like Woods, is from Los Angeles and is a Lakers fan.” I lost my grandpa about a month ago and you can’t say thank you enough. So thank you guys. “