24 Feb 2021 | Professional golf |

Tiger in surgery after car crash

by Mark Hayes

Tiger Woods accident image
A screen shot of the accident scene near Los Angeles today.

Legendary Tiger Woods suffered serious leg injuries today in a car crash in Los Angeles.

Woods, 15 times a major champion, was removed from the crumpled car using an axe and prying tool and taken by ambulance to hospital for surgery.

“Tiger Woods was in a single-car accident this morning in California where he suffered multiple leg injuries,” said his manager, Mark Steinberg.

“He is currently in surgery and we thank you for your privacy and support.”

A Los Angeles police spokesperson said Woods was taken conscious from the scene, but that his injuries had been "serious".

Woods was able to communicate with responding police and fire officers, but was taken to the ambulance with a cervical collar and on a backboard as precautionary measures against spinal injuries.

The police spokesperson said Woods had been "lucky" that his car had remained intact internally, otherwise the severity of the impact could have been fatal.

He said there was "no evidence" of alcohol or narcotics at the crash scene and that Woods has been calm and lucid when he was attended.

Woods had been driving downhill on the winding road at the time of the crash and the spokesperson said initial indications pointed to speed being a likely factor in what is regarded as a "high-crash" zone.

His vehicle first hit the centre median, crossed into the opposing traffic lane, hit a curb, hit a tree and had "several rollovers in that process" that took his car "several hundred feet" from where it left the road, he said.

There was a second crash at the scene when a vehicle that had apparently stopped to help Woods was hit, but that accident was very minor and no one was hurt.

Woods’ crash occurred shortly before 7:15 am local time, about 30km south of downtown Los Angeles, on the border of the upscale communities of Rolling Hills Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes, officials said.

Woods was in Los Angeles at the weekend as tournament host of the Genesis Invitational at Riviera, where he presented the trophy. He was to spend Monday and Tuesday filming with GOLFTV.

According to Golf Digest, the TV shoot was on-course lessons to celebrities, such as comedian David Spade and basketball star Dwyane Wade. Woods reportedly hit a few balls, but not at close to full exertion.

Woods last played in December’s PNC Championship with his 11-year-old son, Charlie. He had a fifth surgery on his back, a microdiscectomy, two days before Christmas and gave no indication when he would return.

The Masters is 8-11 April and when asked at the weekend if he would be there during the CBS telecast, Woods replied, “God, I hope so.”

This is the third time Woods has been involved in a car related incident.

The most notorious was in the early hours after Thanksgiving in 2009, when his SUV ran over a fire hydrant and hit a tree.

That was the start of shocking revelations that he had been cheating on his wife with multiple women. Woods lost major corporate sponsorship, went to a rehabilitation clinic in Mississippi and did not return to golf for five months.

In May 2017, Florida police found him asleep behind the wheel of a car parked awkwardly on the side of the road. He was arrested on a charge of “driving under the influence” and said later he had an unexpected reaction to prescription medicine for his back pain.

Woods later pleaded guilty to reckless driving and checked into a clinic to get help with prescription medication and a sleep disorder.

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