Former world number one Rory McIlroy was among the golfers who wore red on Sunday to express support for injured champion Tiger Woods.
Both male and female players wore the red and black colours Woods usually wears for tournament final rounds, seen above at his fifth winning championship at the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, OH. Woods’ mother, Tida, had suggested he wear the outfit when he was younger and he has maintained the image throughout his legendary career.
Others who wore red include Jason Day, Tommy Fleetwood, Cameron Champ, Sebastian Munoz, Patrick Reed, Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas.
The entire grounds crew wore red for Woods at the Puerto Rico Championship at Grand Reserve Country Club.
The 15-times major winner, who was injured in a vehicle accident last Tuesday, is recovering in hospital. He suffered injuries to his legs after his SUV crashed through a barrier and rolled over on a winding road outside Los Angeles, while on his way to TV interview
Tiger Woods tweeted: “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.”
At the WGC-Workday Championship in Florida, which was won by USA’s Collin Morikawa, Tommy Fleetwood, Patrick Reed and Tony Finau were among those who wore red and black, while Phil Mickelson did the same at a PGA Tour Champions event in Arizona, as did Annika Sorenstam at the LPGA’s Gainbridge Championship.
Tiger Woods has been moved to a new hospital in Los Angeles and faces a long period of recovery. He was already recovering from the latest in a long series of back operationsbut faced the probability of now being unable to compete in the Masters in April. He was reported to be “in good spirits” after the hospital move.
Speaking of the support shown by players, Rory McIlroy 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. Things are looking a little better today than they were on Tuesday, but he’s still got a ways to go. 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 Collin Morikawa said: “”Tiger means everything to me. I don’t think we say thank you enough, so I want to say thank you to Tiger.”
Collin Morikawa’s win at The Concession in Bradenton saw him join Tiger Woods as the only players to win both a major and the WGC title before turning 25.
Woods received emergency surgery involving the insertion of a rod to support multiple open fractures in his right tibia and fibula. Pins and screws have been applied to support the ankle and foot on the same leg.
It’s currently unclear whether Tiger Woods will be able to compete again at the highest level and there has been no statement as to how his recovery might progress.
He was already recovering from his fifth back surgery and hoped to be able to compete at the Masters in April.