Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and seven others were killed in a Los Angeles area helicopter crash today, news that has obviously dominated both the sports world and just the world overall.
While NBA games have so far gone on as scheduled, with moments of silence or other on-court tributes. Some athletes were already playing, though, including Tiger Woods at Torrey Pines. Throughout the round, there was speculation as to whether Tiger was informed of the news; Dottie Pepper reported early on that Tiger’s caddy, Joe LaCava, was informed.
After Tiger finished with a birdie on 18, CBS stayed with Woods and LaCava as they headed for the scorer’s tent, which is when LaCava clearly delivered the news.
LaCava telling Tiger about Kobe. Unreal. pic.twitter.com/7EsIAuywKI
— Jay Rigdon (@jayrigdon5) January 26, 2020
You can hear LaCava say he has to tell Tiger something shocking, and then mention the helicopter crash.
It looked like Tiger's caddie, Joe LaCava just told Tiger about the Kobe news. Tiger: "Excuse me?!"
— Kyle Porter (@KylePorterCBS) January 26, 2020
In his interview immediately after with CBS’s Amanda Balionis, Woods confirmed that he indeed hadn’t known until that moment.
Tiger Woods reacts to the news of Kobe Bryant’s death shortly after finishing his round on Sunday. pic.twitter.com/veQV7WYgE8
— GOLFonCBS (@GOLFonCBS) January 26, 2020
Woods clearly was still processing the news as he offered up some thoughts on Kobe’s competitive fire and overwhelming will to win. It’s likely Tiger wasn’t even aware of the full extent of the tragedy, either. Few athletes get to the level of Kobe and Tiger, and it was a devastating moment to witness.