Women's Golf Legends Respond to Furor Over Tiger Woods Tampon Incident: 'Fun Between Two Friends'


Two high-performing women golfers downplayed a joke some on social media had lambasted as “immature” and “stale,” as well as anti-woman.

After a seven-month break, Woods appeared at the Genesis Invitational and was teamed with his good friend Justin Thomas along with Rory McIlroy, who made up the third member of the team.

Woods’ play wasn’t particularly impressive, but by the ninth tee he gotten into something of a groove.

After Woods popped a longer drive than either Thomas or McIlroy, Woods had a gift for the younger player, and the whole thing was caught on video, USA Today reported.

Norwegian professional golfer Suzann Pettersen, recently selected to captain Europe for the next two Solheim Cup events, dismissed it as a “boyish joke.”

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“I know Tiger quite well,” she said, according to 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.”

“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,” she added. “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.”

Dame Laura Davies, who will serve as Europe’s vice-captain under Pettersen for the Solheim Cup, reacted similarly.

“I think it’s misplaced jokes, a laddy kind of joke,” said said, dismissing the incident as “banter” and a “bit of fun between two friends.”

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“I’m sure Tiger meant no harm by it,” she added. “I can’t believe there was any malice in it.”

Woods had hit a 323-yard drive off the tee while Thomas’ shot only ranged out to 313 yards.

That was apparently the moment Tiger had been waiting for, because as the two began walking down the fairway, Woods slipped a tampon into Thomas’ hand.

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Not everyone was dismissive of Woods’ humor; some on social media attacked him for misogyny.

USA Today’s Christine Brennan blasted Woods as a bad “girl dad” for the tampon joke. Brennan slammed Tiger for using the tampon to say, in essence, “You play like a girl.”

“Really, Tiger?” Brennan wrote. “What a bizarre thing for a ‘girl dad’ to do. His daughter Sam, now 15, grew up playing soccer and had just played in a tournament in Florida when she arrived to watch him win the Masters in 2019.”

Brennan was hardly alone in her criticism.

Statistically, however, woman golfers do not drive a ball as far as male golfers. For example, top male PGA golfer Cameron Young has a top drive of 316 yards, while top LPGA golfer Maria Fasso’s average shot is only 279 yards.

Statistics also show that the median distance for men is 290.7 yards, while the median for women is 257.5.

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George Upper is the former Editor-in-Chief of The Western Journal and was a weekly co-host of "WJ Live," powered by The Western Journal. He is currently a contributing editor in the areas of faith, politics and culture. A former U.S. Army special operator, teacher and consultant, he is a lifetime member of the NRA and an active volunteer leader in his church. Born in Foxborough, Massachusetts, he has lived most of his life in central North Carolina.
George Upper, is the former editor-in-chief of The Western Journal and is now a contributing editor in the areas of faith, politics and culture. He currently serves as the connections pastor at Awestruck Church in Greensboro, North Carolina. He is a former U.S. Army special operator, teacher, manager and consultant. Born in Massachusetts, he graduated from Foxborough High School before joining the Army and spending most of the next three years at Fort Bragg. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in English as well as a Master's in Business Administration, all from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He and his wife life only a short drive from his three children, their spouses and his grandchildren. He is a lifetime member of the NRA and in his spare time he shoots, reads a lot of Lawrence Block and John D. MacDonald, and watches Bruce Campbell movies. He is a fan of individual freedom, Tommy Bahama, fine-point G-2 pens and the Oxford comma.
Foxborough, Massachusetts
Beta Gamma Sigma
B.A., English, UNCG; M.A., English, UNCG; MBA, UNCG
North Carolina
Languages Spoken
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Faith, Business, Leadership and Management, Military, Politics