Tiger Woods got some backing on Tuesday from two-time LPGA major winner and Solheim Cup captain Suzann Pettersen when asked about his controversial tampon stunt at the Genesis Invitational.

Woods received backlash after cameras caught him handing a tampon to playing partner Justin Thomas after out-driving him.

The 15-time major champion apologised when asked about the motive behind the joke, saying he did not intend to cause offence.

"If I offended anybody in any way, shape or form, I'm sorry," he said. "It was not intended to be that way. 

"It was just – we play pranks on one another all the time, and virally, I think this did not come across that way, but between us it was different."

Speaking to the media after being named the European Solheim Cup captain for the next two editions of the event, Pettersen said she knows Woods, and believes his "boyish" humour had no malice.

"I know Tiger quite well," she said. "I don't know Justin Thomas as well, but I know kind of Tiger's humour, and that's a very probably boyish joke between the two of them and I don't really take it too personal.

"I think that was supposed to be a gag between the two of them and unfortunately some cameras caught it in the heat of the moment. I don't know, I don't think he meant to be offensive in any way.

"I'm pretty easy on stuff like that. I'm sure it was meant as a joke, not as a harassment to women in general."

Pettersen's vice-captain, Dame Laura Davies, acknowledged that the joke was sexist, but said "it's just banter on a golf course".

"I think it's misplaced jokes, a laddy kind of joke," she said. "Maybe he misread the situation – I personally am not offended by it.

"People seem to be looking for things to worry about. It's a shame it happened. We are talking about this rather than them entertaining thousands of people – I'm sure Tiger meant no harm by it. 

"I can't believe there was any malice in it. It was really poorly judged, I am sure he would regret he did it now. He will be disappointed that he has been shown to be a bit sexist with what he did. 

"It's just a bit of fun, it's just banter on a golf course. When Tiger does it, unfortunately, everything gets magnified."

Kathy Whitworth, the record-breaking former LPGA Tour player, has died at the age of 83.

Whitworth, who passed away suddenly on Christmas Eve, won 88 LPGA titles during her career – the most on any professional tour.

The six-time major winner was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1976, a year after winning the last of her three Women's PGA Championship crowns.

Five years later, Whitworth became the first woman to reach career earnings of $1million on the LPGA Tour and, in 1990, was the United States' first Solheim Cup captain.

"The golf world and the world in general lost one of its most incredible women with the passing of Kathy Whitworth," LPGA Commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan said in a statement.

"Kathy was a champion in the truest sense of the word, both on the golf course and off."

Her partner Bettye Odle added: "It is with a heart full of love that we let everyone know of the passing of the winningest golf professional ever, Kathy Whitworth.

"Kathy passed suddenly Saturday night celebrating Christmas Eve with family and friends. Kathy left this world the way she lived her life, loving, laughing and creating memories."

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