‘I know Tiger’s humour and that is probably a boyish joke’: Two-time major winner and European Solheim Cup captain Suzann Pettersen backs Woods in tampon row despite widespread criticism over prank
- Woods played a prank on Justin Thomas and received widespread criticism
- The 15-time major winner was slammed by Olympic legend Michael Johnson
- But Pettersen defended Woods over his crass prank at the Genesis Invitational
European Solheim Cup captain Suzann Pettersen has defended Tiger Woods over his crass tampon ‘prank’ last week.
As the debate rumbles on around the 15-time major winner, who drew widespread criticism for handing Justin Thomas a tampon after outdriving him at the Genesis Invitational, Pettersen, one of the most prominent figures in women’s golf, dismissed it as a ‘boyish joke’.
The Norwegian, who confirmed on Tuesday that she will lead Europe against the United States in the 2024 Cup as well as the 2023 match, said: ‘I know Tiger quite well. I don’t know Justin Thomas as well but I kind of know Tiger’s humour and that is probably a boyish joke between the two of them.’
Pettersen, a long-time Nike stablemate of Woods, added: ‘I don’t really take it too personally. I think that was supposed to be a joke between the two of them and unfortunately some cameras caught it in the heat of the moment. 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 and not as harassment to women in general.’
The 15-time major winner handed Justin Thomas a tampon and was widely criticised
Suzann Pettersen has defended Woods over his crass tampon ‘prank’ at an event last week
Woods has been slammed by Olympic legend Michael Johnson, who said the 47-year-old had ‘learned nothing’ from past mistakes, and was called ‘very inappropriate’ by England football manager Sarina Wiegman.
Meanwhile, Luke Donald has incurred a fresh Ryder Cup headache after confirmation of Thomas Pieters’ defection to the LIV circuit.
The long-expected move comes ahead of the start of the rebel league’s second season, which begins in Mexico on Friday. While LIV bosses had bullishly hoped to land several top-20 stars after the conclusion of their inaugural campaign in October, their off-season efforts for an expanded 14-event calendar have yielded only six new faces, led by Pieters, the world No 34.
Along with the signing of the Belgian, LIV announced the recruitment of Danny Lee, Dean Burmester and Brendan Steele, having last week added Mito Pereira, the world No 45, and Sebastian Munoz.
They are all good players, but underwhelming compared to the huge disruption caused by the first wave last year.