Tiger Woods leads tributes as golf world reacts to death of Kobe Bryant


Tiger Woods leads tributes as players react to death of LA Lakers basketball legend Kobe Bryant

Basketball superstar Kobe Bryant, 41, and his 13 year old daughter Gianna were two of nine people killed in a helicopter crash in California on Sunday, and Tiger Woods was one of many top golfers who were quick to pay tribute to the former LA Lakers legend. 

The tragic news was confirmed during the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, and Woods was evidently emotional after being informed by his caddie Joey after his round. 

"I didn't know until Joey just told me coming off the 18th green," Woods told CBS Sports after the round.

"I didn't understand why people in the gallery were saying, 'Do it for Mamba.' Now I understand. It's a shocker to everyone. I'm unbelievably sad, and it's one of the more tragic days. The reality is setting in because I was just told about 5 minutes ago.

"Life is very fragile as we all know," added Woods, who had known Bryant for 20 years and grew up as a Lakers fan.

"You can be gone at any given time and we have to appreciate the moments that we have. I just can't imagine what his family's going through right now."

Brooks Koepka also paid tribute to his 'HERO' with a picture of Bryant and an accompanying quote, which the World No.1 says has motivated him his entire life. 

"Kobe Bryant was my HERO growing up," wrote Koepka.

"Even to this day he was an inspiration to the way I approached things. I woke up every day and saw this quote every time I opened my phone. His mentality motivated me not only in hard times but throughout my whole life. RIP, Kobe."

Rory McIlroy, who also found out after finishing his final round at Torrey Pines, described the news as "horrific".

“I’ve never liked helicopters," said McIlroy. "...that’s terrible. So sad. Ironic, given what LeBron did last night to pass him, as well. Horrific.

“His dedication, his drive. The fact he’d make his teammates wait on the bus for two hours while he set an example and worked hard and mastered his craft. And that’s what he did. He was a pure master of what he did.

Here's how the rest of the golf world reacted.