There are a few athletes who are synonymous with Nike, and Tiger Woods is near the top of the list. So it was particularly jarring when the golf icon was spotted in something without Swoosh branding.
With The Masters looming, Woods was photographed during a practice round at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga., on Sunday. However, he did not have Nike footwear laced up. Instead, the athlete was wearing a pair of all-black FootJoy shoes.
The images got golf fans talking, although Woods has not addressed his FootJoy footwear — but Nike has.
“Like golf fans around the world, we are delighted to see Tiger back on the course. He is an incredible athlete, and it is phenomenal to see him returning to the game at this level. His story continues to transcend sport and inspire us all. As he continues his return, we will work with him to meet his new needs,” Nike said in a statement that was emailed to FN.
Woods was back on the Masters course practicing a year after being hospitalized following a serious car accident. On Feb. 23, 2021, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said it responded to a single vehicle “roll-over traffic collision” at 7:12 a.m. PT on the border of Rolling Hills Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes, and identified Woods as the driver and sole occupant. At the time, officials stated Woods was “extricated from the wreck with the ‘jaws of life’ by Los Angeles County firefighters and paramedics.”
In November 2021, Woods admitted via news conference at the 2021 Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas that amputation of his right leg “was on the table.”
Although Woods was back practicing, he stated via Twitter on Sunday that competing “will be a game-time decision.”
The 2022 Masters at Augusta National — which is the 25th anniversary of Woods’ first-ever win at the event — is scheduled to take place from April 7-10.