(CNN) — Tiger Woods handed Justin Thomas a tampon after outdriving his playing partner in an apparent prank that some on social media are saying has sexist overtones.
Thomas immediately discarded the tampon before the two men laughed and hugged as they walked off the tee on the ninth hole at the Genesis Invitational on Thursday.
Woods' reasons for handing Thomas a tampon are currently unclear.
CNN reached out to Excel Sports Management, which represents both players, for comment but did not receive a response at time of publication.
"See, it's funny because feminine hygiene products are INHERENTLY emasculating, so when a man makes another man touch a tampon, he's saying 'I am a bigger and better man than you, because, GROSS, I made you touch a wrapped Tampax!'" lawyer Ann Olivarius tweeted.
"If tiger spent three months a year bleeding and coping with period pain, they'd make a whole-ass documentary about how champions overcome insurmountable obstacles," Alex McDaniel, Managing Editor of USA Today's For The Win, tweeted.
After suffering serious leg injuries in a car accident two years ago, Woods has made sporadic competitive appearances as he battles with a grueling recovery process.
Playing at the Genesis Invitational this week marks his first official tournament start since The Open Championship in July last year and his first non-major PGA Tour event since the ZOZO Championship in October 2020.
He finished his first round with a two-under par 69, with birdies on his final three holes, to end the day five shots behind tournament leaders Max Homa and Keith Mitchell.
The 47-year-old played alongside Rory McIlroy as well as Thomas, and the trio of major winners begin their second round at 10:24 ET on Friday.
"It was nice that I had this unbelievable pairing, two great guys, two great friends," Woods said in a press conference afterwards.
"It was a great round. The ebb and flow of needling each other, encouraging each other and telling stories. Because I hadn't been out here so I've missed some of the things that have transpired on Tour, which is kind of fun."
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