BRADENTON, Fla. — Tiger Woods, in a tweet Sunday night, said it was “touching” to see so many players wearing his trademark Sunday red for the final round of the WGC-Workday Championship, just days after a serious car accident left him hospitalized and needing emergency surgery.
“It is hard to explain how touching today was when I turned on the tv and saw all the red shirts,” Woods wrote in the tweet. “To every golfer and every fan, you are truly helping me get through this tough time.”
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.
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) March 1, 2021
Woods, 45, suffered several injuries in the single-car crash. He underwent a lengthy surgery and remains hospitalized in Southern California.
Collin Morikawa planned to join other players in honoring Woods by wearing a red shirt and black pants. But the gear from his apparel company didn’t arrive in time, so Morikawa paid tribute in a better way: He converted a 54-hole lead into a victory at Concession Golf Club, shooting a final-round 69 to win his fourth PGA Tour title by 3 strokes over Brooks Koepka, Billy Horschel and Viktor Hovland.
At 24, Morikawa joined — you guessed it — Woods as the only other player to have a major championship and World Golf Championship title before age 25.
“Tiger means everything to me,” Morikawa 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.”
For Tiger. pic.twitter.com/UmAGYMRMpP
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) February 28, 2021
— PGA TOUR Communications (@PGATOURComms) February 28, 2021
Tony Finau made the grandest entrance, wearing a red mock-neck golf shirt, black pants and his Nike hat backward — the way Woods often arrives at tournaments.
“I was pretty inspired,” Finau said. “I heard earlier quite a few guys were going to do it. I for sure felt like it would just be a nice touch. We’ve enjoyed so many Sundays watching Tiger do his thing. Red and black, that’s what Tiger does on Sundays, so to just join in and just let Tiger know we’re supporting him in the best way we can. We’re still playing as we miss him out here, but it was just cool to be part of that today.”
At the Puerto Rico Championship, the opposite-field event this week won by Branden Grace, the entire grounds crew wore red for Woods. Phil Mickelson, who was playing the PGA Tour Champions event in Arizona, said he bought a shirt locally to wear to pay tribute to Woods.
Woods’ mother, Tida, had suggested the attire when he was a young pro and he ended up following through no matter the circumstances.
Among others who arrived in red at the Concession Golf Club were Jason Day, Tommy Fleetwood, Cameron Champ, Sebastian Munoz, Rory McIlroy and Patrick Reed. Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas wore a shade of red that appeared to be more pink.
“Obviously there’s nothing we can do to help him, but I think just it’s important for him to feel some kind of support,” said Thomas, who is one of Woods’ closest friends among the young players on tour. “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 to do it.”
McIlroy, another close friend, said: “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. 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.”
Day, Bryson DeChambeau and Matt Kuchar also used a Bridgestone golf ball with Tiger’s name stamped on the side.
“You know what, he’s an idol,” Munoz said. “He’s the reason I played golf today. It’s just a little tribute I wanted to pay to him today, just how much his life or his work has impacted my life. Just a little tribute.”
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