Tiger Woods made his way to the practice facility at Carnoustie ahead of his first round at the 2018 British Open Championship on Thursday, and he immediately drew attention because he was sporting multiple pieces of KT Tape on his neck.
Two black strips of the product, also known as Kinesio tape, were peeking out of the collar of his shirt. KT Tape, or Kinesio tape, is typically used for stability purposes with muscles, connecting tissues with the tape to keep them sure during physical activity. When applied correctly, the tape can support muscles, joints and tendons like a brace would, yet without restricting motion in the same way braces, compression bands or wraps might. It's made of cotton, so there's no issues that could come about with latex-based products.
In Woods' case, it could be to keep his neck and back muscles feeling together and allowing them to work together before the round. Woods' camp has said he slept funny the night prior and felt some stiffness in his neck. After seeking some treatment in the morning, he applied the KT tape as he prepared for his round, hoping to loosen up the muscles.
Woods could wear the KT tape while he plays, as Michelle Wie has done famously over the years, including when she won the 2014 US Women's Open. Of course, Woods has faced four back surgeries in his career, and he's complained of neck issues even prior to those surgeries, particularly when sleeping overseas.
KT Tape is the most popular brand of Kinesio tape, and it can be worn for up to five days when applied, including in the shower and pool. It comes in a roll that can be cut gauze or in pre-cut strips, and it costs anywhere from $11-$15.