Tiger Woods offered a subtle tribute to Kobe Bryant after sinking his putt on the 8th hole at the Genesis Invitational

With a 24-foot, 8-inch putt to start the round, and a subtle flick of the wrist at No. 8, Tiger Woods paid tribute to Kobe Bryant on Thursday.

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With a 24-foot, 8-inch putt to start the round, and a subtle flick of the wrist at No. 8, Tiger Woods paid tribute to Kobe Bryant on Thursday.
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Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
  • Tiger Woods shot a two-under 69 in the first round of the Genesis Open on Thursday.
  • Woods sank a 24-foot, 8-inch putt to eagle the first hole of his round. “It was a nice way to start,” said Woods, noting that the numbers matched the two numbers that Kobe Bryant had worn during his NBA career.
  • Then at the eighth hole, which had a purple-and-gold flag to honor Bryant, Woods gave a subtle flick of the wrist after sinking his putt.
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Tiger Woods shot a two-under, 69 in the first round of the Genesis Invitational on Thursday.

During his round, Woods had two moments that served as tributes to Kobe Bryant, one intentional, and one that came more or less out of the blue.

Woods reached the green of the par-5 No. 1 at Riviera Country Club in two shots and was left with a long putt for a potential opening eagle.

Just how long of a putt was it? 24 feet, eight inches – both numbers that Bryant wore throughout his career with the Lakers.

Woods sunk the putt to start his day at two-under.

Then at No. 8, where the course was flying a purple-and-gold flag as a tribute to Bryant, Woods celebrated his birdie with a flourished flick of the wrist while passing his ball back to his caddie. It was a move that many sports fans have made while shooting a balled-up piece of paper at a trash bin while shouting out “Kobe!”

After his round, Woods was touched when he learned of the exact distance of his opening eagle putt.

“It’s ironic, isn’t it? It was a nice way to start,” said Woods, per ESPN. “I didn’t know about the putt being that long. As I said, ironic that having those two numbers. And then No. 8, happened to hit one in there close and had a nice little kick in there for birdie.

“No matter what we do, I think for a while we’re going to always remember Kobe and what he meant, and especially here in SoCal and the entire sports world. Like I said, very ironic that I happened to have those numbers on those holes and those exact measurements.”

Woods entered the second round of the tournament tied for 17th, with Matt Kuchar leading after the first round with a seven-under day. With one more win, Woods would break his current tie with Sam Snead for most PGA Tour wins in history.

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