Suzann Pettersen, a 15-time LPGA Tour winner, defended Tiger Woods on Tuesday after he faced harsh backlash over his tampon prank during the Genesis Invitational last week, saying that she doesn’t believe Woods “meant to be offensive in any way.”
Woods, 47, issued an apology for discreetly handing reigning PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas a tampon after he outdrove him on one hole in the first round of the tournament.
The moment was caught by photographers
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“It was supposed to be all fun and games, and obviously it hasn’t turned out that way,” Woods said. “If I offended anybody in any way, shape or form, I’m sorry. It was not intended to be that way. It was just we play pranks on one another all the time, and virally I think this did not come across that way.”
Despite the outrage on social media, Pettersen said Tuesday that she believes the gesture “was supposed to be a gag between the two of them.”
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“I know Tiger quite well,” Pettersen said after being named Europe’s team captain for the 2024 Solheim Cup, via Sky Sports.
“I don't know Justin Thomas as well, but I know kind of Tiger's humor and that's a very probably boyish joke between the two of them and I don't really take it too personal.”
She continued: “I think that was supposed to be a gag between the two of them and unfortunately some cameras caught it in the heat of the moment. I don't know, I don't think he meant to be offensive in any way.
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“I'm pretty easy on stuff like that. I'm sure it was meant as a joke, not as a harassment to women in general.”
The Genesis Invitational was Woods' first tournament since The Open Championship last July. He played only three times last year because of a fused back and battered legs from surgeries and a car crash.