Tiger Woods sustained possible career-ending “leg injuries” after an accident left him needing to be cut free from his SUV by firefighters using the jaws of life.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department described the accident as a “single vehicle roll-over traffic collision” in Ranchos Palos Verdes, California.
According to the department’s Twitter account, the vehicle sustained “major damage” in the crash on Tuesday morning.
A Sheriff’s spokesperson said: “On February 23, 2021, at approximately 7.12 AM, LASD responded to a single vehicle roll-over traffic collision on the border of Rolling Hills Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes.
“The vehicle was travelling northbound on Hawthorne Boulevard, at Blackhorse Road, when it crashed. The vehicle sustained major damage.”
“The driver and sole occupant was identified as PGA golfer, Eldrick ‘Tiger’ Woods,” officials confirmed.
“Mr Woods was extricated from the wreck with the ‘jaws of life’ by Los Angeles County firefighters and paramedics, then transported to a local hospital by ambulance for his injuries.”
Sources said he had to be removed from the car’s windshield with all airbags deploying. Audio from the emergency dispatchers showed the severity of the crash as they discussed Woods being trapped inside and that specialist equipment would be needed.
Roads in the area were also blocked off.
His agent Mark Steinberg confirmed the former Master’s champion, who has suffered debilitating back pain, was undergoing surgery.
Woods was taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Centre by ambulance, where he was last night (TUES) being treated for his injuries.
Aerial images from the scene showed his SUV, a Genesis GV80, lying about 30 yards off the road on its side.
Pictures of his SUV showed the vehicle on its side with extensive damage to the front. The golfer’s luggage could be seen out to the side with one of his famous caps on top.
Law enforcement sources speaking to the Los Angeles Times claimed the golfer, said to be worth £640 million, was driving “at a high rate of speed and lost control of the vehicle before crossing the centre divider”.
The vehicle is said to have rolled multiple times before coming to a stop. The crash occurred on a curvy, steep stretch of a major road that cuts through the Palos Verdes Peninsula.
Woods, 45, was the only occupant of the car and was taken to a nearby hospital.
Police sources told US website TMZ Sports they do not believe alcohol was a factor but they did not say whether any other substance was possibly involved.
Father-of-two Woods was in the area for his annual Genesis Invitational golf tournament at the Riviera Country Club in the Pacific Palisades.
The extent of the sports star’s injuries was last night not confirmed, neither has his current condition.
The accident comes three years after Woods pleaded guilty to reckless driving after making a deal with Florida prosecutors to avoid going to prison for being found behind the wheel under the influence of drink or drugs.
The golfing legend was ordered to participate in various programs and abstain from illicit drugs and alcohol during a 12-month probationary period.
He was told if he performs all successfully, the drunk driving charge would disappear from his record after 12 months.
The judge said the court would withhold adjudication of the misdemeanour reckless driving charge, allowing him to get the record sealed.
Father-of-two Woods also has entered the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s first-time driving under the influence (DUI) offender diversion program.
The 15-times major champion was arrested in May 2017 about 10 miles from his home in Jupiter, Florida.
Police found him passed out in his Mercedes-Benz, which was parked awkwardly on the side of the road and had damage to the driver’s side.
Woods was incoherent, but no alcohol was found in his system.
He insisted he had had an unexpected reaction to a combination of prescription medicine he was taking for his back.
Woods had surgery on April 19 – his fourth procedure to his back since April of 2014 – and will not play on the US PGA Tour this season.
The golfer, estimated to be worth £585 million, has not played since he withdrew from the Dubai Desert Classic on February 3.
Earlier this week, Woods made his first public appearance just days ago after undergoing back surgery.
The golfer provided an update about his condition with CBS during the final round of the Genesis Invitational.
“I’m feeling fine, little bit stiff,” Woods said. “Have one more MRI scheduled to see if the annulus has scarred over finally, and then I can start doing more activities.
“Still in the gym, still doing the mundane stuff that you have to do for rehab, the little things before you can start gravitating towards something a little more.”
When being asked what he has done golf-wise since undergoing the major surgery, Woods joked “I’ve lengthened my putter.”
“I don’t have to bend over as far. I’ve gone to the same length as my sand wedge.”