Suzann Pettersen defends Tiger Woods over tampon incident with Justin Thomas on PGA Tour return

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Suzann Pettersen was asked about Tiger Woods after being named captain of Team Europe for the 2024 Solheim Cup; Woods came under scrutiny for handing Justin Thomas a tampon after outdriving him at the Genesis Invitational

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Sarah Stirk, Sophie Walker and Dame Laura Davies react to Tiger Woods handing Justin Thomas a tampon during the opening round of the Genesis Invitational on Thursday

Solheim Cup captain Suzann Pettersen believes Tiger Woods did not mean to cause offence by handing Justin Thomas a tampon after outdriving him during the Genesis Invitational.

Tiger Woods

Woods, who was making his return to top-level action for the first time since July last week, could be seen handing the product to Thomas as they walked off the ninth tee in the first round.

Thomas immediately threw it on the floor as Woods laughed and put his arm around his playing partner.

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Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas played together for the first two rounds at Riviera

Woods received criticism on social media following the incident and told a press conference after completing his second round: “It was supposed to be all fun and games and obviously it hasn’t turned out that way.

“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, but between us it was different.”

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods has apologised after he drew criticism for handing a tampon to Justin Thomas, an action he says ‘was supposed to be fun and games’

Speaking after being confirmed as Solheim Cup captain for each of the next two editions of the contest, Pettersen said: “I know Tiger quite well.

“I don’t know Justin Thomas as well, but I know kind of Tiger’s humour and that’s a very probably boyish joke between the two of them and I don’t really take it too personal.

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Sky Sports’ Sarah Stirk criticised Tiger Woods’ behaviour, describing it as ‘crass’ and ‘disappointing’ after he was filmed handing Justin Thomas a tampon during the opening round of the Genesis Invitational on Thursday

“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.

“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.”

Tiger Woods

Davies plays down Woods incident | ‘It’s just banter’

Dame Laura Davies – who will serve as a vice-captain to Pettersen at the Solheim Cup – played down the incident, suggesting that it was a ‘bit of fun between two friends’.

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Speaking to Sky Sports News, the four-time major champion: “I think it’s misplaced jokes, a laddy kind of joke. Maybe he misread the situation. I personally am not offended by it.

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