Tiger Woods turned 43 years old on Sunday, December 30, capping off an incredible year that saw him return to the elite ranks of the PGA Tour, and perhaps kicking off an even greater year to come. Many of Tiger’s fellow pros took to social media to wish the veteran a happy birthday, with some taking the opportunity to to make some well-meaning jokes about his age.
Among those sending birthday greetings to Woods were two young stars of the game Bryson DeChambeau and Justin Thomas. In an Instagram post, Thomas expressed his gratitude to the friendship he has built with Tiger over years playing on Tour and on U.S. teams together. But he was also bold enough to take a dig at the 14-time major champion’s advanced age.
DeChambeau, who like Thomas is 25, followed suit, writing, “Happy birthday @TigerWoods. Wishing you another great year old man!”
Other pros went in a more reverent direction, with several players thanking Woods for inspiring their careers and for what he’s done to improve the game of golf, such as Billy Horschel and Willy Wilcox.
Joel Dahmen went as far as to say “I hope you win every major for the next 5 years,” before adding, “I have a job because of you.”
Woods marked the occasion on his own Twitter feed, where he thanked everyone for their kind words and support during his comeback. (He also plugged the ESPN documentary about his career that premiered at 9 p.m. on Dec. 30.)
Here are a few other messages pros sent to Tiger on his big day.
We have yet to hear when Woods will hit the course again in a PGA Tour event to begin the new season, though he has stated that he will play less this upcoming year. It was also confirmed last week that he will skip this week’s season-opening Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.