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Golf legend Tiger Woods was injured in a one-car accident in Los Angeles this morning and was transported by ambulance to a local hospital for surgery. According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the crash occurred on a residential street in Palos Verdes.
Initial reports that Los Angeles County firefighters used the “jaws of life” device to extricate Woods from the badly damaged SUV were later disputed when a department source told NBC that hand tools were, in fact, sufficient to cut into the vehicle. Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva has scheduled a 3 p.m. PT news conference on the accident.
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“Tiger Woods was in a single-car accident this morning in California where he suffered multiple leg injuries,” his agent Mark Steinberg at Excel Sports Management told ESPN. “He is currently in surgery and we thank you for your privacy and support.”
The PGA Tour issued a statement this afternoon: “We have been made aware of Tiger Woods’ car accident today. We are awaiting further information when he comes out of surgery. On behalf of the PGA tour and our players, Tiger is in our prayers and will have our full support as he recovers.”
Woods, who recently underwent his fifth back surgery and has had multiple knee surgeries, had been hosting the Genesis Invitational at Rivera County Club in Pacific Palisades over the weekend. The Long Beach native and Florida resident did not play in the tournament, but proceeds from the event help support his charitable foundation. The car Woods was driving appeared to have Genesis logo and moniker on its doors, suggesting it could be a tournament courtesy vehicle.
Genesis posted this on its Instagram account Sunday:
The incident happened about 7:12 a.m. local time near the border of Rolling Hills Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes, a coastal city of about 42,000 people in Los Angeles County.
According to the Sheriff’s Department, Woods’ vehicle was traveling north on Hawthorne Boulevard at Blackhorse Road when it crashed. “The vehicle sustained major damage,” LASD said. After being removed from the vehicle, Woods was taken by ambulance to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance. His condition and the extent of his injuries were not immediately clear. See the department’s full statement below.
The Los Angeles Times, citing police sources, reported that Woods was traveling at a high rate of speed and lost control of the vehicle before crossing the center divider. His SUV rolled multiple times.
Woods — whose real name is Eldrick — has, of course, been in the news for traffic-related issues before. He crashed his car in 2009, which set off a series of revelations about his personal life. In 2017, police found the golfer asleep in his parked car, and he was arrest for DUI after failing a field sobriety test. After that crash, it was reported that Woods had a cocktail of painkillers in his system, some of which had been prescribed due to a back surgery that same year.
The iconic Woods stormed back to prominence after several injury-riddled seasons by winning the 2018 Tour Championship and then the 2019 Masters. But he had struggled since the PGA Tour’s return from a Covid shutdown last year. He played just seven official events and failed to post a top-10 finish to drop to 44th in the world rankings as he focused on playing in his signature tournament — the Masters — in April.
The defining player of his generation, Woods transcended the sport. After winning a record three consecutive U.S. Amateur Championships from 1994-96, he turned pro in at age 20 and won his first PGA Tour event about three months later. Two victories and six months later, he won the 1997 Masters by a record 12 strokes, and a legend was born.
He is tied with Sam Snead with 82 career tour wins; one more would make him the winningest golfer of all time. He also has won 15 major tournaments, three behind Jack Nicklaus’ record.
The recent two-part HBO docuseries Tiger traces the golfer’s rise and fall and rise again in both life and career. It traces Tiger’s remarkable rise from cute toddler impressing Bob Hope and James Stewart on The Mike Douglas Show to the sport’s most dominant golfer. For years he was expected not just of weekly victory, but of being a “bridge between all the different tribes races in humanity.” The program premiered last month.
Photos posted yesterday to social media indicate that he has recently played rounds with David Spade and Dwayne Wade.
The story is developing…
— LA County Sheriffs (@LASDHQ) February 23, 2021
Tom Tapp and Erik Pedersen contributed to this report.
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