Stricken Tiger Woods 'touched' by players wearing red tops in show of support

Tiger Woods said it was “touching” to see some of his fellow players wearing red tops on a Sunday in a show of support for him as he remains hospitalised following a car crash.

Rory McIlroy wearing a red top in the final round of World Golf Championships-Workday Championship at The Concession in Bradenton, Florida. Picture: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images.
Rory McIlroy wearing a red top in the final round of World Golf Championships-Workday Championship at The Concession in Bradenton, Florida. Picture: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images.

Rory McIlroy was among those to don red tops and black trousers for the final round of the WGC-Workday Championship in Florida.

In a gesture undertaken mainly by Nike-sponsored players, Tommy Fleetwood, Jason Day and Tony Finau also wore the traditional last-day colours of Woods at The Concession Golf Club near Bradenton.

The show of support, which also involved Patrick Reed and Justin Thomas, came on the first Sunday following the car crash in Los Angeles that left Woods in hospital with serious leg injuries.

Annika Sorenstam practices her chipping with her son and husband looking on prior to the final round of the Gainbridge LPGA at Lake Nona in Orlando, Florida. Picture: Julio Aguilar/Getty Images.

Finau even wore his Nike hat backwards, the way 15-time major winner Woods has often arrived at tournaments over the years, before teeing off.

Elsewhere, Phil Micklelson wore a red top for the final round of the Cologuard Classic on the Champions Tour in Arizona, while Annika Sorenstam, her husband/caddie Mike McGee and son Will were all donned in Tiger colours for the last circuit of the LPGA Gainbridge event at Lake Nona in Florida.

At the Puerto Rico Classic, this week’s regular event on the PGA Tour, the entire greenkeeping team also showed their support by turning out in red tops and black trousers.

“It is hard to explain how touching today was when I turned on the TV and saw all the red shirts,” said Woods in a post on his Twitter account.

“To every golfer and every fan, you are truly helping me get through this tough time.”

In coming out on top in the Workday event, Collin Morikawa joined Woods as the only two players to win both a major and WGC under the age of 25.

As was the case when he landed the US PGA Championship in San Francisco last August, Morikawa produced a polished last-round performance to claim a three-shot success over Viktor Hovland, Brooks Koepka and Billy Horshcel.

Woods was Morikawa’s golfing idol as he grew up in California and the 24-year-old said: “Tiger means everything to me.

“He had the crash and thankfully he’s all right and hopefully he has a quick and great recovery, but I don’t think we say thank you enough.

“So I want to say thank you to Tiger because sometimes you lose people too early. I lost my grandpa about a month ago and you don’t get to say thank you enough, so ‘thank you guys’.”

Morikawa closed with a three-under 69 for an 18-under total as he claimed another big win after holding off Hovland (67), Koepka (70) and Horschel (70).

“I’m just so excited right now,” admitted the new WGC champion, who has climbed to fourth in the world rankings. “I was working on so much the last couple of weeks and tips from Paul Azinger and Mark O’Meara got this week through. My game felt so good.

“I was talking to O’Meara about putting. It’s been a big change to go to the saw grip, as he calls it not the claw, and I talked with Azinger for 10-15 minutes about chipping and it just saved my life this week.”

McIlroy (71) finished joint-sixth on 12-under alongside 2010 Open champion Louis Oosthuizen (69) and Webb Simpson (72).

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