Golfer Tiger Woods was injured in a car accident
Tiger Woods is “awake and responsive” after surgery for serious leg injuries in a car crash in Los Angeles on Tuesday.
The 15-time golf major champion, 45, had to be “freed from the wreck” by fire fighters and paramedics.
A statement said he suffered “open fractures of the tibia and fibular bones” in his right lower leg and inserted a bar.
Injuries to the foot and ankle were stabilized with screws and pins.
“He [Woods] is currently awake, reacting and recovering in his hospital room, “the statement added.
Woods cannot stand
Woods was “lucky enough to be alive,” said an LA County Sheriff’s Representative who first visited the scene at 7:18 am local time on the Rolling Hills Estates-Rancho Palos Verdes border.
Carlos Gonzalez said the golfer was “unable to stand on his own” before being removed from the vehicle, which had suffered major damage.
He said the American was buckled up and “still calm and clear” when he told him his name.
“It is very happy that Mr. Woods got out alive,” he added.
LA District Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Woods’ car “crossed the center divider to the point where it was several hundred feet away” and “indicates that they were traveling at a relatively faster than normal speed”.
He added, “However, because it is downhill, sloping and curving, this area has a high accident rate. This is not uncommon.”
He said the car hit a curb, hit a tree and was run over several times. Villanueva added “there was no evidence of impairment” at Woods.
Stars wish Woods all the best
Tiger Woods at his last tournament, the PNC Championship in December
Former US President Barack ObamaTennis star Serena Williams, basketball star Stephen Curry and singer Mariah Carey were among the many celebrities who posted their messages of support on social media.
World number three Justin Thomas is one of Woods’ best friends on the tour and has expressed concern for his compatriot.
“I’m sick in the stomach,” said an emotional Thomas. “You know, it hurts to see one of your … closest friends having an accident.
“Man, I just hope he’s okay. Just worry about his kids, you know. I’m sure they’re fighting.”
In a statement from PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan, “On behalf of the PGA Tour and our players, Tiger is in our prayers and will have our full support when he recovers.”
Woods’ personal struggles
Woods was involved in a car accident in November 2009 that eventually resulted in an admission of infidelity and the collapse of his marriage. Then he took a break from golf, but returned shortly afterwards.
After five wins in 2013, Woods only started 24 events over the next four years due to chronic back pain and multiple surgeries.
In 2017, Woods was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence while falling asleep behind the wheel of his car. He later pleaded guilty to reckless driving.
He had five prescription drugs on his system when he was recovering from spinal fusion surgery that ultimately gave him a second golf career.
Woods ended the eleven-year wait for an important title when he won the Masters in Augusta in 2019.
He, along with Sam Snead, holds the record for most PGA Tour wins at 82, and is three behind Jack Nicklaus’ mark of 18 major titles.
Woods recently said he was hoping after playing in this year’s Masters in April a fifth back operation in January.
He finished sixth in the golf world rankings in 2019 but is now 50th.
“A very serious situation for his career”
BBC golf correspondent Iain Carter told BBC Radio 5 Live
Tiger Woods had this extraordinary life that had such massive ups on the golf course but some extraordinary lows in his personal life.
This is a very serious situation for his career now.
He was on American television on Sunday. Many watchers were concerned about how hesitant he was about the kind of progress that was being made in relation to his recovery and whether or not he would be suitable for the Masters.
All thoughts about it now go completely out of the window and no longer have priority.