Tiger Woods was busy yesterday trying to make his comeback at the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, but that all changed when he received some earth-shattering news that his close friend, Kobe Bryant, had suddenly passed away earlier that morning. Tiger was told of the news by his caddie Joe LaCava, live on TV after completing his round.
LaCava, knowing Woods had a close relationship with the former Lakers star, made the immediate decision not to tell him right away. LaCava said he found out the news around hole 9 but decided to wait to tell Tiger.
“I thought it would be better off not telling him,’’ LaCava told The Post. “I didn’t think he’d be to the point where he couldn’t play golf, but I figured I’d wait to the end. It was too much of distraction. I waited until we got into the tunnel on 18 [after his round was complete] to tell him, because I didn’t want the cameras on him and see the shock on his face.’’
As Woods played the back nine, fans from outside the ropes were yelling, ‘‘Do it for Mamba’’ referring to Bryant’s nickname.
“I didn’t understand why they were yelling, ‘Do it for Mamba’ on the back nine, [but] people yell things all the time, so I was just plodding along, doing my own thing,’’ Woods said. “Then when Joey told me … it’s unbelievable, the reality that he’s no longer here. One of the most shocking, tragic days that I’ve ever been a part of.
“Life is very fragile as we all know. You can be gone at any given time and we have to appreciate the moments that we have,” Woods said. “I just can’t imagine what their entire family’s going through right now.”