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Tiger Woods offers rare Kobe Bryant tribute with his first putt in Los Angeles

Tiger Woods had a putt attempt that was a unique tribute to Kobe Bryant

Tiger Woods had an unique opportunity to honor the late Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles this week, and he didn’t let the opportunity to go his way. Tiger Woods hits his tee shot on the 10th hole during the Genesis Invitational pro-am golf event at Riviera Country Club, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles.
Tiger Woods had an unique opportunity to honor the late Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles this week, and he didn’t let the opportunity to go his way. Tiger Woods hits his tee shot on the 10th hole during the Genesis Invitational pro-am golf event at Riviera Country Club, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles.
Ryan Kang, Associated Press

Tiger Woods had a unique opportunity to honor the late Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles this week, and he didn’t let the opportunity get away.

What happened with Tiger?

  • Woods hit a 3-wood 312 yards on the first hole at the Riviera Country Club’s downhill par-5. He then hit an 8-iron from 171 yards, giving him a chance to putt for eagle on the green, USA Today reports.
  • His first attempted putt was from 24 feet, 8 inches — the two numbers that represent Kobe Bryant’s jersey numbers. Bryant wore No. 8 when he first entered the league before switching to the No. 24.
  • Woods nailed the putt.
  • Woods told the Golf Channel (via CNN): “It’s ironic, isn’t it? I didn’t know about the putt being that long.”

Some more context:

Woods hit the putt at the Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles, which isn’t far to where Bryant was tragically lost in a horrific helicopter crash in Calabasas, according to CNN.

The meaning of Kobe’s jersey numbers

  • Bryant wore the No. 24 starting in the 2006-2007 season after spending his early career wearing the No. 8, according to the Bleacher Report. The change was a sign of maturity, he said.
  • Bryant said: “When I first came in at 8, is really trying to ‘plant your flag’ sort of thing,” Bryant said. “I got to prove that I belong here in this league. I’ve got to prove that I’m one of the best in this league. You’re going after them. It’s nonstop energy and aggressiveness and stuff.”
  • Bryant said: “Then 24 is a growth from that. Physical attributes aren’t there the way they used to be, but the maturity level is greater. Marriage, kids. Start having a broader perspective being one of the older guys on the team now, as opposed to being the youngest. Things evolve.”