Golf legend Tiger Woods was pulled from the twisted wreckage of a car crash early Tuesday morning, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.
Woods was traveling through the Rolling Hills Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes neighborhoods, near Long Beach, at about 7:12 a.m. PT when his SUV crashed and rolled over. He was the sole occupant, the sheriff’s department said.
The car sustained such major damage that crews needed to use “jaws of life” machinery to pry open the wreck and pull him out.
Footage aired on MSNBC showed the badly damaged car lying on a grassy hill several feet from the roadway.
Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg told The Daily Beast in a statement that Woods suffered multiple leg injuries in the single-car crash. “He is currently in surgery and we thank you for your privacy and support,” he said.
The Los Angeles County Fire Department said Woods was hospitalized with “moderate to critical” injuries.
Woods has been in Southern California for the PGA Tour’s Genesis Invitational, a golf contest at the Riviera County Club that benefits Woods’ foundation. The SUV he was driving appears to have a Genesis Invitational decal on the driver’s side door.
Woods hadn’t competed in the Genesis Invitational due to his recent back surgery. The 45-year-old underwent his fourth microdiscectomy procedure, to remove abnormal disc material, and his fifth back surgery in late December after years of persistent back issues.
Just two days ago, he said he was hopeful of recovering in time to compete in the Masters in seven weeks.
Woods blamed his persistent back pain and insomnia for a DUI arrest near his home in Jupiter Island, Florida, in 2017.
A toxicology report said Woods had five different drugs in his system at the time of the 2017 arrest: hydrocodone, an opioid pain drug; hydromorphone, another type of painkiller; alprazolam, an anxiety drug like Xanax; aolpidem, a sleep drug like Ambien; and delta-9 carboxy THC, which is found in marijuana.
He pleaded guilty to reckless driving and had to go to DUI school, perform community service, pay a $250 fine, and complete a yearlong diversion program.
Woods’ golfing career, with more than 15 major championships, has often been derailed by his personal life. Two days after an infidelity scandal erupted in 2009, he crashed his Cadillac Escalade SUV into a fire hydrant and a tree outside his Florida mansion at 2:30 a.m. His then-wife Elin Elin Nordegren had to pull him from the car.
He was treated for minor facial cuts and received a ticket for careless driving, and later completed 45 days of therapy.
Just days ago, Woods was photographed on the golf course for a friendly round with former Miami Heat basketball legend Dwayne Wade. The last time he competed professionally, however, was on Dec. 20 at the PNC Championship in Orlando, Florida—where he played alongside his 11-year-old son, Charlie. The pair finished seventh.
After hosting the Genesis Invitational over the weekend, Woods was set to do a two-day shoot for Golf Digest/GOLFTV, according to Golf Digest. In the shoot, Woods gave on-course lessons to a number of celebrities—including Wade and David Spade. Woods didn’t arrive to the second day of shooting on Tuesday morning.
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