When you think of golf, one of the last things to come to mind is the attire that players wear when they hit the green. But a cursory glance at “Tiger Woods” in Google Images reveals that yes, the man tied for first in all-time PGA Tour wins might not wear a jersey or shoulder pads, but he does have a signature uniform: a red shirt, black hat, and matching black pants.
So to honor one of the most dominant athletes of all-time as he recovers from last week’s gruesome, single-car accident, the Washington Post and ESPN report that both golfers and staffers donned red and black during the Puerto Rico Championship and the final round of the WGC-Workday Championship on Sunday.
Aside from their attire, competitors like Jason Day, Bryson DeChambeau, and Matt Kuchar also paid tribute by having Tiger’s name stamped on their golf balls. It was Tony Finau, however, who fully embraced the opportunity to honor the 15-time major champion. Finau showed up in a red mock-neck golf shirt, black pants and a backward Nike hat backward—Woods’ customary regalia upon his arrival 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.”
Early in Tiger’s career, his mother, Tida, suggested he go with red and black. And in the years since, no matter the event or circumstances, he’s made it his mission to follow suit.
“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,” Rory McIlroy, one of Tiger’s closest friends, said on Sunday. “Obviously, things are looking a little better today than they were on Tuesday, but he’s still got a ways to go.”
He added, “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.”
Tiger’s importance to the sport can’t be understated. After suffering significant leg injuries in a single-car accident on February 23, he remains hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles where he’s undergone surgery to repair two open leg fractures and a shattered ankle.
Despite his misfortune, Woods took a break from his recovery to express his gratitude for the outpouring of support.
“It is hard to explain how touching today was when I turned on the tv and saw all the red shirts,” he tweeted. “To every golfer and every fan, you are truly helping me get through this tough time.”
We wish Tiger a speedy recovery and are keeping him and his family in our thoughts and prayers.