Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Tommy Fleetwood among golf stars wearing red to honour hospitalised Tiger Woods - in pictures
Woods 'touched' by tribute after car accident
Tiger Woods said it was "touching" to see so many players dressed in his trademark Sunday red for the final round of the WGC-Workday Championship, as his peers paid tribute following his serious car accident last week.
The 15-time major champion, 45, suffered multiple injuries in a single-car crash outside Los Angeles on Tuesday, an incident in which he was said to have been “very fortunate” to have emerged from alive. Woods underwent emergency surgery and remains hospitalised in Southern California.
On Twitter on Monday, he wrote: "It is hard to explain how touching today was when I turned on the TV and saw all the red shirts. To every golfer and every fan, you are truly helping me get through this tough time."
A number of players at Concession Golf Club wore Woods' traditional red shirt for their final rounds – a look made iconic in golf by arguably the greatest player of all time. Among those were Rory McIlroy, Patrick Reed, Jason Day and Tommy Fleetwood. Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas, the world No 2 and No 3 respectively, wore shades of red that looked closer to pink.
"I guess for us it's just a gesture to let him know that we're thinking about him and we're rooting for him,” said McIlroy, the four-time major champion who has become a close friend to Woods. “Obviously things are looking a little better today than they were on Tuesday, but he's still got a ways to go.
"He's got a huge recovery ahead of him. But I think just for everyone to show their appreciation for what he means to us out here. If there was no Tiger Woods, I just think the tour and the game of golf in general would be in a worse place.
"He's meant a lot to us, he still does mean a lot to us, and I think that was just a little way to show that."
Thomas, who counts Woods among his closest friends on tour, said: "Obviously there's nothing we can do to help him, but I think it's important for him to feel some kind of support. I think this shows support to him.
"It's not something that's going to happen every week, it's not something that people are doing every day. But obviously Sunday's a pretty special day for him and what he's wearing and just seemed like a great chance that people had the opportunity to do it.''
Eventually, Collin Morikawa took the title at Congressional, shooting a final-round 69 to secure his fourth PGA Tour victory by three strokes from Brooks Koepka, Billy Horschel and Viktor Hovland.
The 24-year-old, who landed a first major last year by winning the PGA Championship, conjured memories of Woods by joining his boyhood hero as the only other player to seal a major and a World Golf Championship before the age of 25.
Morikawa had also planned to honour Woods on Sunday by sporting red shirt and black trousers. However, the clothes from his apparel company did not arrive on time.
"Tiger means everything to me,'' he said. "I hope he is all right and makes a quick recovery. Sometimes we don't say thank you enough, and I wanted to say thank you to Tiger. Sometimes you lose people too early. I lost my grandpa about a month ago, and you don't get to say thank you enough.''
Elsewhere, Phil Mickelson bought a shirt locally before his final round at the PGA Tour Champions event in Arizona to pay tribute to Woods, while the grounds crew at the Puerto Rico Championship on Sunday all wore red, too.
There were other nods to Woods at Congressional, with Day, Bryson DeChambeau and Matt Kuchar all using a Bridgestone golf ball with “Tiger” stamped on the side.
Published: March 1, 2021 10:00 AM