Extra Points: Red was Color of Choice for Some Golfers Sunday
A lot of professional golfers were sporting red and black attire on Sunday in support of Tiger Woods, who is recovering from serious leg injuries suffered in a car accident last week.
Rory McIlroy, Patrick Reed and Tony Finau were among the players sporting the colors in the final round of the WGC's Workday Championships in Bradenton, Florida. Annika Sorenstam, playing in her first LPGA event in 21 years, donned a red shirt and black skirt on Sunday at the Gainbridge tournament in Orlando.
"It's hard to explain how touching today was when I turned on the TV and saw all the red shirts," Woods said on Twitter Sunday. "To every golfer and every fan, you are truly helping me get through this tough time."
The most notable getup was worn by Phil Mickelson, who eschewed his traditional all-black Sunday garb for a red shirt at the PGA Champions Tour Cologuard Classic in Tuscon, Arizona.
If Mickelson broke out in a rash, it's because the former Arizona State University star was wearing a shirt emblazoned with a logo from rival University of Arizona, which is located in Tucson.
"I had to buy a red shirt (to show support for Woods) and of course every red shirt here has a big A on it," Mickelson told the Arizona Republic Sunday. "I hope Tiger knows that we're supporting him. Because that was a lot for me to do that."
That was no doubt the reason Mickelson wore a black pullover for the entire round. In addition to playing for the Sun Devils, Phil's brother and caddie, Tim, was once ASU's men's golf coach.
As the parent of an Arizona State grad (Class of 2007), I know it was a big deal. Kyle's golf shirts and hats- and most of mine as well - are either gold, burgundy or black and feature a pitchfork or the classic "Sparky the Sun Devil" logo.
When my wife Karen and I were visiting our young grandsons Hampton (5) and Graham (2) on Saturday, Graham wanted Mimi to help him change his t-shirt. They went to his closet and he immediately grabbed a gold t-shirt with Sparky on the front that reads "Start em young, raise 'em right."
"Sun Devil," Graham said. "My favorite."
Of course, I personally show loyalty to other schools. I also have some green-and-white shirts and a hat with a dolphin diving between a "JU" logo from our daughter Ashley's alma mater, Jacksonville University (Class of 2005). My wardrobe also includes some black-and-white shirts from my college, the Appalachian State Mountaineers (Class of 1980).
If it hadn't been pouring all day Sunday and I had been able to play 18, I might have considered wearing my red pullover from Half Moon Bay Golf Club in California, since Tiger is the only PGA player I've personally met.
Actually, that's quite a stretch. My only encounter with him came in 1997, the day after he became the youngest Masters champion in history. He was making an appearance in Atlantic City at the old Trump Taj Mahal - now Hard Rock Hotel & Casino - to open its Official All-Star Cafe that was located just off the Boardwalk. Woods was part-owner of the franchise, along with Andre Agassi, Wayne Gretzky, Ken Griffey, Jr., Joe Montana, Shaquille O'Neal and Monica Seles.
Hundreds of fans lined the boardwalk. I was squeezed into a roped-off media section with about a dozen others. Woods strolled past and shouted something like, "I'm happy to be here."
Not every golfer wore red on Sunday. The gesture wasn't made official until Thursday or Friday and some players simply did not include red shirts and black pants when packing for the tournaments. Collin Morikowa, who won the Workday tournament, had planned on wearing red, but the shirt didn't arrive on time.
A few chose other ways to show their support. Billy Horschel, who tied for second at Workday behind champion Collin Morikowa, had Woods' initials on his hat. Bryson DeChambeau and Matt Kuchar both used Bridgestone golf balls with "Tiger" stamped on them.
Max Homa caught some unfortunate and undeserved heat from Twitter trolls because he wasn't wearing red. He explained that he was contractually obligated to wear shirts containing logos from his various sponsors, so was not able to dash out to the nearest Dick's Sporting Goods or WalMart to pick up a red one.
However, that wasn't enough to satisfy some idiots. Homa's Twitter feed was filled with vitriol. Some messages suggested he tear the logos off his shirts and sew them onto a red one. Others were even more ludicrous.
"I mean this with zero hyperbole," Homa wrote Saturday. "This is the weirdest thing I've experienced on Twitter lol. I love Tiger more than u guys. Promise. Red and black tomorrow doesn’t prove that. A lifelong attempt to mimic his approach to the game of golf does."
I agree. While wearing red and black was a touching gesture, it was also a little bizarre. While Tiger suffered some horrendous injuries to his right leg and foot after his car careened off a Southern California road, they were not life-threatening.
As Homa said, playing like Tiger sends a much more powerful message than dressing like him.
Personally, I can neither dress nor play like him. I might have worn a red pullover Sunday, but I would have had an ASU shirt underneath.
And I still would have struggled to break 90.
South Jersey Things That Aren't There Anymore