Tiger Woods is undergoing surgery after suffering leg injuries in a rollover crash Tuesday in Los Angeles, his agent said in a statement. Woods, 45, was the only person inside the vehicle, which sustained “major damage” in the crash, officials said.
Deputies responded to the scene at 7:12 a.m. local time Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said. His SUV careened downhill on the wrong side of the road, flipping multiple times before landing on a hillside in a Los Angeles suburb.
Woods was trapped inside the vehicle, forcing first responders to use tools, including an ax, to free him, local officials said. The beloved golfer was transported to the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.
His agent, Mark Steinberg, told CBS Sports that Woods “suffered multiple leg injuries” in the crash. “He is currently in surgery and we thank you for your privacy and support,” he said.
His SUV was the only vehicle involved. Video from the scene shows extensive damage to the vehicle’s front-end. The golfer’s clubs and other personal items were taken from the scene and a crane removed the crumpled debris.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Woods was conscious after the crash and there was currently no evidence of impairment. Villanueva said the interior of the SUV remained intact, which gave Woods the cushion to survive the crash. The investigation could take weeks to be completed, he said.
Woods, a Florida resident, was in Los Angeles to host his annual golf tournament, the Genesis Invitational. He spent the past two days filming with Discovery’s Golf TV with former NBA player Dwyane Wade, who posted a video of their meetup this morning.
Woods, widely considered as one of the greatest golfers of all-time, has 82 career PGA Tour wins, including 15 major championships. He has been recovering from extensive back surgery and has not played since the PNC Championship in December. On February 16, Woods said he was still rehabbing after the procedure but did not confirm whether he would play at the Masters in April.
“I’m feeling fine, I’m feeling fine. I’m a little bit stiff,” Woods said last week. “Still in the gym, still doing the mundane stuff that you have to do for rehab.”
“Barbara and I just heard about Tiger’s accident, and like everyone else, we are deeply concerned,” Nickalus tweeted Tuesday. “We want to offer him our heartfelt support and prayers at this difficult time. Please join us in wishing Tiger a successful surgery and all the best for a full recovery.”
“Just seen the awful news,” golfer Justin Rose tweeted. “We know how tough you are, we’ve seen it a hundred times. Hoping and praying you’re ok my friend.”
This is the third automobile incident involving the majors champion. In 2009, his vehicle struck a tree. Soon after, revelations about infidelity emerged, losing Woods sponsorships, and landing him in rehab. And in 2017, Woods was arrested and charged with DUI when Florida police found him passed out behind the wheel of a parked car.
Two years later, Woods made a remarkable return to greatness, when he won the Masters for the fifth time.
Justin Carissimo contributed reporting.