Tiger Woods apologized Friday for handing playing partner Justin Thomas a tampon as a joke during the first round of the Genesis Invitational on Thursday.
Photographers captured a glimpse of Woods giving Thomas the tampon on the ninth hole of Thursday's first round after Tiger outdrove the younger and healthier JT:
Woods was asked about the interaction while speaking to the media after Friday's second round, and he apologized for the gesture, which implied that weakness is inherent in women.
Per Bob Harig of Sports Illustrated, Woods said:
"It was supposed to be all fun and games, and obviously it hasn't turned out that way. 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."
Cara Banks and Brandel Chamblee of Golf Channel discussed Woods' attempt at a joke and its potentially damaging impact:
Woods returned to the course this week for his first official, non-exhibition PGA Tour tournament since the Open Championship in July.
Though some wrote the gesture off as just a fun joke, USA Today's Christine Brennan suggested it was "a bizarre thing for a 'girl dad' to do," and For The Win's Charles Curtis wrote that the prank was "childish."
The 47-year-old Woods and 29-year-old Thomas are close friends who often play practice rounds together, and they have been paired in PGA Tour tournaments on several occasions as well.
Woods has struggled mightily through back, knee and leg injuries in recent years, limiting his time on course and ability to chase Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 major championships.
Tiger has 15 major titles to his credit, with the most recent being an improbable victory at the 2019 Masters.
Woods has not won a tournament of any kind since then, and his schedule has been fairly light because of mounting injuries.
Tiger is playing in the Genesis Invitational in part because it benefits his foundation, but also as a potential tune-up for major season, which starts with the 2023 Masters in April.
Given the long layoff, Woods has played fairly well at the Genesis Invitational, carding a two-under 69 in the first round, followed by a three-over 74 in the third round.
Woods is just below the projected cut line of even-par, meaning he may not make the weekend, while Thomas is just above the projected cut line at one-under.