Tiger Woods insisted Friday he didn’t mean to cause offense when he pranked playing partner Justin Thomas by handing him a tampon in the first round of the Genesis Invitational.
The moment, caught by at least one of the bevy of photographers who followed Woods’s first US PGA Tour round in seven months, went viral on social media.
Critics were quick to conclude that Woods, having out-driven Thomas at Riviera Country Club’s ninth hole, was denigrating good friend Thomas as “playing like a girl.”
“Yeah, it was supposed to be all fun and games and obviously it hasn’t turned out that way,” Woods said Friday after a second-round 74 left him in danger of missing the cut.
“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’s different.”
Predictably, social media reaction was mixed.
“Call me woke. Call me a snowflake. Call me ‘offended’. Whatever. But handing another male golfer a tampon is objectively not funny,” one Twitter poster wrote.
Another, however, called negative reaction “manufactured anger.”
Plenty found the exchange amusing, and one Twitter poster suggested he donate money to The Period Project, which raises awareness of period poverty and helps make menstrual hygiene products available to the homeless and others in need.