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 last round of their WGC-Workday Championship, just days after a severe automobile accident left him and needing emergency surgery.
“It is hard to describe 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 each fan, you are genuinely helping me get through this tough time.”
Woods, 45, suffered many injuries from the single-car crash.
Collin Morikawa planned to join other players at honoring Woods by wearing a red shirt and black stripes. But the gear from his apparel company did not arrive in time, therefore Morikawa paid tribute at a better way: He converted a 54-hole lead to some victory at Concession Golf Club, shooting a final-round 69 to win his fourth PGA Tour name by 3 strokes over Brooks Koepka, Billy Horschel and Viktor Hovland.
In 24, Morikawa joined — you guessed it — Woods as the only other player to have a significant championship and a World Golf Championship title before age 25.
“I expect he’s all right and makes a fast recovery. Sometimes we do not say thank you enough, and I wanted to say thank you to Tiger. Sometimes you lose folks too premature. I dropped my grandpa about a month ago, and you do not get to say thank you .”
Tony Finau created the greatest entry, wearing a reddish mock-neck golf top, black pants and his Nike hat backward — the way Woods frequently arrives in tournaments.
“I was pretty motivated,” Finau said. “I heard before quite a few men were going to get it done. I for sure felt like it’d only be a nice touch. We’ve enjoyed a lot of 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 could. We’re playing as we miss him out here, but it was just cool to be part of the now.”
In the Puerto Rico Championship, the opposite-field occasion this week won by Branden Grace, the entire grounds team wore crimson for Woods. Phil Mickelson, who had been playing the PGA Tour Champions event in Arizona, said he bought a top locally to use to pay tribute to Woods.
Woods’ mother, Tida, had suggested the attire when he had been a young pro, and he ended up after through no matter the conditions.
One of the others who arrived in crimson 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 pink.
“Obviously, there’s nothing we can do to assist himbut I think just it is very important for him to feel some type of support,” said Thomas, who is one of Woods’ closest friends among the young players on tour. “I feel this shows support . It is not something that’s likely to happen every week; it’s not something people do daily. But of course, Sunday’s a pretty special day for him and what he is wearing and only seemed like a great chance that we had the chance to do it.”
McIlroy, yet another of Woods’ close friends, 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. Evidently, things are looking somewhat better today than they had been 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 all to demonstrate their admiration for what he means to people out here. When there was no Tiger Woods, I just believe the tour and the sport of golf in general would be in a worse location. He’s meant a great deal to us, he still does mean a lot to usand I think that was only a little way to demonstrate that.”
“He is the reason I played golf today. It is just a little tribute I needed to cover him today, just how far his life or his work has changed my life. Just a little tribute.”