Tiger Woods is under scrutiny for quietly handing a stamp to Justin Thomas after he beat his playing partner at the Genesis Invitational.
It happened when the Americans came off the ninth tee, with Thomas laughing and then dropping the pad to the floor.
The incident drew a mixed response on social media, with some criticizing 15-time major champion Woods.
The 47-year-old is competing in his first competitive PGA Tour event since missing the cut at the Open in July.
He was part of a group with PGA Championship winner Thomas and four-time major winner Rory McIlroy.
Woods, who seriously injured his right leg and foot in a car accident two days after this tournament in 2021, posted a two-under-par 69 to finish five strokes behind leaders Keith Mitchell and Max Homa. after the first round of the event he organizes at the Riviera Country Club, in California.
Woods and Thomas have been involved in controversial incidents before in their careers.
In 2021, Thomas apologized for using a homophobic slur during the third round of the Sentry Tour of Champions in Hawaii.
Woods was involved in a car accident in November 2009 which ultimately led to an admission of infidelity and the breakdown of his marriage. He then took a break from golf but returned soon after.
In 2017, Woods was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence when he was found asleep at the wheel of his car. He later pleaded guilty to reckless driving.