Tiger Woods has thanked golfers who donned his famous red and black attire on the final day of a tournament, saying it was “hard to explain” his emotions as he recovers from multiple leg injuries suffered in a car crash last week.
Several members of the field at The Concession, including former world number one Rory McIlroy, sported the color scheme adopted by Woods for much of his record-breaking career as a tribute to the 45-year-old 15-time Major winner who suffered numerous injuries in the accident close to Los Angeles on Tuesday.
Woods’ SUV rolled over several times in the single-car crash before he was taken to hospital for treatment on multiple leg fractures and a shattered ankle, ending hopes of a potential comeback from back surgery at the Masters in August this coming April.
Even as Woods faces an extended layoff from the fairway, his presence is still being felt within the sport after a number of players opted to show their support for the star by adopting his famous black and red for one night only.
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
Watching the tributes from his hospital bed, Woods took to social media to express his gratitude at the touching gesture.
“It is hard to explain how touching today was when I turned on the TV and saw all the red shirts,” Woods wrote. “To every golfer and every fan, you are truly helping me get through this tough time.”
In addition to McIlroy, other members of the field including Patrick Reed, Tommy Fleetwood, Cameron Champ and Jason Day also took part in the tribute to Woods.
“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,” McIlroy said afterwards.
“Obviously, things are looking a little better today than they were on Tuesday, but he’s still got a way to go. He’s got a huge recovery ahead of him.
Love this! The game is so irrelevant compared to humans nature and life in general. Nice to see support from the peers! Well done guys.
— D (@drew_609) February 28, 2021
“But I think [it’s] 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.”
In addition to players, several caddies and volunteers also noted their support for Woods by wearing face-coverings with messages of goodwill written on them.
Meanwhile, the Puerto Rico Open, which is sanctioned by the PGA Tour, had their entire maintenance staff adopt the color scheme.
Woods, who remains at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, released a statement last week to say that he is “recovering and in good spirits” following the crash.
Questions remain as to when – or even if – one of the sport’s most transformative athletes might return to his best after recovering from his debilitating injuries.