Tiger Woods reacts to the tragic death of Kobe Bryant

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The entire sporting world has come together to mourn the passing of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, who tragically passed away on Sunday evening following a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.

Among the numerous stars to pay tribute was golfing great Tiger Woods.

Woods was taking part in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines at the time the horrific crash took place.

The incident not only claimed the life of Bryant, but also that of his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, as well as seven other victims.

The PGA Tour official Twitter account posted a short interview with Woods shortly after he had come off course in which he revealed that he had been unaware of the tragic news whilst playing, but could sense something was amiss. 

“I didn’t understand why people in the gallery were saying, ‘Do it for Mamba.’ Now I understand." said Woods - who was informed of Bryant's death by his caddie Joe LaCava shortly after completing his final round.

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 five minutes ago."

Woods, a keen Los Angeles Lakers fan, then went on to share his memories of Bryant as a competitor on the basketball court.

"He burned so competitively hot...The desire to win. He brought it each and every night on both ends of the floor. Not too many guys can say that throughout NBA history.

"He’d lock up on defence. He was obviously dominant on the offensive side, but anytime he was in the game, he’d take on their best player and shut him down for all 48 minutes. That was one of the more impressive things throughout his entire career. Then when he ruptured his Achilles and went to the foul line and made his shots, that’s tough."

Woods and Bryant both emerged as prodigious talents within their respective sports in the late 1990's - and shared common ground because of it.

A picture has emerged in the hours since Bryant's passing of the pair happily posing with one another in the Lakers' dressing room back in 1997.

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Tiger Woods has lost a friend, whilst the world has lost a sporting icon.

The horrendous tragedy of this past Sunday will take everyone a long time to process. May all who lost their lives rest in peace.

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