Tiger Woods suffered multiple leg injuries and had to be cut from his vehicle with “jaws of life” equipment following an accident in Los Angeles.
The 15-time major winner was taken to a local hospital by ambulance after the incident early on Tuesday morning and his agent, Mark Steinberg, said the 45-year-old was taken into surgery.
Woods was the only person in the vehicle, which bore the logo of his Genesis Invitational tournament, and sustained major damage. No other vehicles were involved.
A statement from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department read: “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 traveling 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. 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.
“The traffic investigation is being conducted by investigators from LASD Lomita Station.”
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva subsequently announced on Twitter he would host a press conference regarding the incident at 3pm local time (11pm GMT).
In a statement, Steinberg told Golf Digest: “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.”
Speaking at a press conference ahead of the WGC-Workday Championship, an emotional Justin Thomas expressed his concern for Woods and his two children, Sam and Charlie.
“I’m sick to my stomach,” Thomas said. “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.”
Former United States alpine ski racer Lindsey Vonn, an ex-girlfriend of Woods, tweeted: “Praying for TW right now.”
And Real Madrid midfielder Gareth Bale, who is on loan at Tottenham, wrote: “Sending my thoughts and prayers to Tiger Woods. Get well soon champ.”
Woods, 45, was at Riviera Country Club at the weekend as host of the Genesis Invitational, but was not competing following recent back surgery.
Pictures on social media showed Woods smiling with comedian David Spade and basketball star Dwayne Wade as they filmed content for GolfTV.
In May 2017, with five prescription drugs in his system, Woods was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence when he was found asleep at the wheel of his car and later pleaded guilty to reckless driving.
He spent 11 months on probation but returned to competition late in 2017, won the Tour Championship in September 2018 and completed a remarkable comeback with victory in the 2019 Masters, his 15th major title and first since 2008.
Speaking at the weekend, Woods said he hoped to be able to contest the Masters in April following a microdiscectomy to relieve a pressurised disc fragment in January.
Asked if he would be at Augusta National, Woods said: “God, I hope so.”
In a statement on social media, Masters chairman Fred Ridley wrote: “Tiger Woods is part of the Augusta National family, and the news of his accident is upsetting to all of us.
“We pray for him, for his full recovery and for his family during this difficult time.”
A statement from Open Championship organisers the R&A read: “Our thoughts are with Tiger and his family at this time. We wish him all the very best for his recovery.”
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said: “We have been made aware of Tiger Woods’ car accident today. We are awaiting 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.”