Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood and Justin Thomas among several golfers wearing red and black in honor of Tiger Woods following his horrific car crash in Los Angeles as Collin Morikawa claims his first WGC title
- Rory McIlroy and others chose to wear red and black to honour Tiger Woods
- Woods, recovering from a car crash, famously wears the colour on Sundays
- Justin Thomas picked a near-replica of Woods’ 2019 Farmers Insurance Open top
For over 20 years the leading professionals on the PGA Tour have avoided wearing red and black on Sundays as a respectful nod in the direction of Tiger Woods.
On a unique Sunday at the WGC-Workday Championship at the Concession, in a gesture of support for their stricken colleague lieing in a Los Angeles hospital, they marked his absence by donning the colours that Tiger made his own.
From Rory McIlroy to Tommy Fleetwood, Patrick Reed to Jon Rahm, the men who grew up idolising Tiger’s exploits and have fulfilled their dreams by following in his footsteps got to feel what it’s like to wear his ‘power’ colours.
Rory McIlroy wore red and black to honour Tiger Woods at the WGC-Workday Championship
Woods, recovering from a car crash, famously wears the two colours on a tournament Sunday
Nike golfers Tommy Fleetwood (left) and Cameron Champ (right) also wore red and black
If truth be told, it can’t have felt too great wearing black pants, not with the temperature gauge touching an unseasonably hot 32 degrees celcius.
McIlroy wore a sheepish grin when asked about his attire. ‘I don’t wear it as well as Tiger does, but it will be all right,’ he said. He certainly wore it better than his playing partner, the portly Patrick Reed.
Interestingly, not one of these players went on to give a good impression of Tiger in terms of the golf they played. No-one who finished in the top four was wearing red and black. Did it add an extra layer of pressure trying to live up to Tiger’s creed?
Instead, it was the nerveless Collin Morikawa who prevailed, adding his first WGC title to his breakthrough major victory in the USPGA Championship last August.
Collin Morikawa emerged victorious at the WGC Championship, claiming his first title
Justin Thomas wore a near-replica of Woods’ shirt from the last round of the 2019 Farmers Insurance Open.
The 24 year old paid his own tribute to Tiger with the manner in which he nailed the shots that mattered for a three stroke success over Norwegian Viktor Hovland, and American Brooks Koepka.
Morikawa, the overnight leader, started slowly and an exciting finish looked in prospect as the chasing pack gathered. He put an end to that idea with four birdies in eight holes, enabling him to play the dangerous finishing stretch conservatively and close out the win.
As Tiger continues his rehabilitation, more details of his horrific car accident last Tuesday have emerged from a fire fighter at the scene. Cole Gommoll told the Associated Press how he chopped carefully along the front windscreen with an axe. Woods, tangled in his seatbelt and covered in a sheet to avoid shards of glass, was in an obvious state of shock.
American golfer and 2018 Masters champion Patrick Reed also sported the tribute colours
Gommoll and a colleague then peeled back the windscreen, allowing a backboard stretcher to be inserted to get Woods out of the car. Within minutes, the 15-time major champion was on his way to a trauma specialist hospital for the lengthy surgery that would save his right leg.
On Thursday, Woods was transferred to another hospital in the city used by many top sportsmen for orthopaedic care and recovery, where he underwent further medical procedures. It’s not known when he will be well enough to return to Florida.
Back in the Sunshine State, Rory McIlroy (71) will be quietly encouraged with a tied sixth finish, given he’s trying to bed in some swing changes and plainly didn’t have his best stuff. Englishman Matt Fitzpatrick’s consistent form continued as he followed up his fifth place in Los Angeles the previous week with a 72 for tied 11th.
World number five Tyrrell Hatton warmed up for his defence of the Arnold Palmer Invitational this week with a 69 for tied 22nd place.
Playing her first LPGA Tour event in 13 years, Annika Sorenstam also donned red and black