Golf champion Tiger Woods was hospitalized in Los Angeles on Tuesday with serious leg injuries when his car swerved off a road and rolled down a steep hill, forcing rescue teams to pull him out of the wreckage, said. the authorities said.
The injuries are not believed to be life threatening, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said at a press conference hours later, adding that Woods was aware and “able to communicate” when rescue personnel have arrived.
The sheriff said there was no evidence of impairment when Woods was assessed by emergency services at the scene, and no blood samples were taken by investigators after he was taken to ambulance at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.
Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby said Woods suffered serious injuries to both legs and was initially listed in serious but stable condition. TBEN reported that Woods suffered broken legs.
Carlos Gonzales, a sheriff’s deputy who was the first to reach the wreckage, described Woods, who was wearing his seat belt, as “calm and lucid”, and said he recognized the golf course after Woods had told the officer his name was “Tiger”.
Video footage from the crash scene showed Woods’ dark gray Genesis sport utility vehicle badly crumpled and lying on its side near the bottom of the hill with its windows smashed.
Woods, 45, a 15-time Grand Slam champion and one of the world’s most famous sports figures, was the sole occupant of the car when it crashed around 7.12am near the suburban communities of Rolling Hills Estates and of Rancho Palos Verdes, says the sheriff’s department.
“Tiger Woods was in a single car accident this morning in California where he sustained multiple leg injuries. He is currently in surgery and we thank you for your privacy and support,” the Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg in a statement. to Golf Digest reporter Daniel Rapaport.
Villanueva said Woods’ vehicle hit a tree and overturned several times after veering off the roadway and down the embankment.
The Sheriff’s Department first said a rescue tool known as the “Jaws of Life” was used to extract Woods from the wreckage. Fire officials later said emergency personnel pulled Woods out of the vehicle through the front windshield after the glass was removed.
Woods’ success on the Greens turned him into a global superstar, ushering in an era of multi-million dollar backers and lucrative-looking money and spread the sport to audiences far beyond its traditional image. male, white and middle class.
He was also a major influence on the modern generation of golfers such as Australia’s world No.1 Jason Day, who said he read a book on Woods and decided to copy the high work ethic of Americans.
Woods, whose career has been hampered in recent years by back injuries and underwent his fifth back surgery in December, hosted the annual PGA Tour Genesis Invitational at the Riviera Country Club this weekend, but did not participated.
He was seen at the Rolling Hills Country Club on Monday with actress Jada Pinkett Smith, former basketball star Dwayne Wade and comedian David Spade.
‘PRAY FOR TW’
The news that Woods, the greatest golfer of his generation, had been injured in a serious car crash sent shock waves through the sports world.
“Praying for my brother @TigerWoods as we all look forward to more news,” former baseball star Alex Rodriguez said on Twitter. “Thinking of him and his whole family.”
“My stomach hurts,” Justin Thomas, another PGA Tour golfer, said at a press conference in which he called Woods one of his closest friends. “I just hope he’s okay.”
Woods’ ex-girlfriend, Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn, simply tweeted: “Praying for TW”
The PGA Tour released a statement from Commissioner Jay Monahan. “We await 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.”
Former US President Donald Trump, who golfed with Woods on several occasions and awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2019, issued a statement urging Woods to recover quickly, adding: “You are a true champion. ! “
Born in California, Eldrick “Tiger” Woods turned pro in 1996 and won his first US Tour title in just his fifth start. Since then, he has virtually redefined the game.
Woods held the top spot in the professional golf world rankings for a record 683 weeks, winning 14 major league titles between 1997 and 2008.
After a series of injuries and personal issues at times derailed his career, Woods won his 15th major Masters title in 2019, his fifth time winning the coveted green jacket given to Masters champions.
His 15 major titles rank just behind the record of 18 won by Jack Nicklaus.