Tiger Woods lucky to be alive as golf icon sustains serious but non life-threatening injuries in car crash which could’ve been fatal
Tiger Woods is in hospital with serious leg injuries after a car accident which could’ve been fatal in Los Angeles on Tuesday morning.
The golf icon was travelling alone in Rancho Palos Verdes when his vehicle hit a curb, a tree, and rolled over several times at high speed, suffering major damage.
No other vehicles were involved and Woods’ injuries, which include a shattered ankle and a compound fracture, are not life-threatening.
Fire crews had to extricate Woods from the vehicle using an axe, as previous statements saying they used the ‘jaws of life’ were later corrected by officials.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva told a news conference that ‘deputies at the time did not see any evidence of impairment’ after arriving on the scene of the crash at 7.18am.
The interior of his Genesis GV80 ‘gave him the cushion to survive what otherwise would have been a fatal crash’, according to Villanueva.
Los Angeles fire chief Daryl Osby revealed Woods was conscious and in a stable condition but with serious injuries to both legs.
Carlos Gonzalez, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s deputy who first arrived at the scene, also said it was ‘fortunate Woods was able to come out of this alive’.
He revealed Woods was not able to stand on his own, but was ‘lucid and calm’ as help arrived.
The 45-year-old was immediately taken to a local hospital by ambulance for surgery to repair his ankle.
His agent Mark Steinberg said: “Tiger Woods was in a single-car accident this morning in California where he suffered multiple leg injuries. He is currently in surgery and we thank you for your privacy and support.”
Woods, a 15-time major winner, is one of the greatest golfers of all-time and one of the most iconic figures in sporting history.
Woods dominated the world of golf for more than a decade between the late nineties and early 2010s, before public scandal and physical problems saw him struggle for numerous years.
He is the youngest player ever to complete the career Grand Slam of majors and famously did the ‘Tiger Slam’ across 2000 and 2001, winning all four majors in a row.
His most recent triumph at the 2019 Masters came after years of crippling back injuries and spinal fusion surgery, sparking fresh hope that he could chase down Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major championships.
The American has been out injured following further back surgery in December – and was hopeful of returning for this year’s Masters in April.
Tiger Woods’ major victories
Masters: 1997, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2019
PGA Championship: 1999, 2000, 2006, 2007
U.S. Open: 2000, 2002, 2008
The Open Championship: 2000, 2005, 2006
Woods’ last appearance on the course came alongside his son Charlie at the PNC Championship at the end of 2020.
He hosted the Genesis Open at Riviera last weekend, handing Max Homa the trophy and commentating alongside Jim Nantz on Sunday.
The world of golf has been reacting to the news, offering prayers and best wishes for Woods as he undergoes surgery.
World No. 3 Justin Thomas, who has become close friends with Woods and his family, got emotional while reacting to the news.
“I’m sick to my stomach,” Thomas said, speaking at a press conference ahead of the WGC-Workday Championship.
“You know, it hurts to see one of your… now one of my closest friends get in an accident.
“Man, I just hope he’s all right. Just worry for his kids, you know. I’m sure they’re struggling.”
British golfer Ian Poulter, former England international Gary Lineker and Tottenham forward Gareth Bale were also among the well-wishers on social media.
Former United States alpine ski racer Lindsey Vonn, a former girlfriend of Woods, also tweeted: “Praying for TW right now.”