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Tiger Woods 'in stable but serious condition' after car crash in Los Angeles
23 February 2021, 19:46 | Updated: 23 February 2021, 23:16
Tiger Woods suffered multiple leg injuries and had to be cut from his vehicle with specialist equipment following a single-car accident in Los Angeles.
Fire crews had to use the equipment to get Woods, 45, from the vehicle after it rolled over and suffered major damage shortly after 7am in Los Angeles, California.
He was extricated from the car in a stable but serious condition, LA County Fire Chief Daryl Osby confirmed.
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 he was taken into surgery.
Mr Steinberg added in a statement to Golf Digest: "He is currently in surgery, and we thank you for your privacy and support.”
The golfing legend was the only person in the vehicle and no other vehicles were involved.
LA Sheriff Alex Villanueva said deputies did not see any evidence of impairment and that he was conscious when being rescued.
However, the sheriff added that it does appear speed was a factor due to the vehicle ending up several hundred feet away from the place where it first crashed.
Woods was in LA for a two-day shoot for Golf Digest/GOLFTV, according to the publication, which said he was in "good spirits" on Monday but did not arrive to the course for a second day of shooting.
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).
Speaking at a press briefing ahead of the WGC-Workday Championship, an emotional Justin Thomas - an American golfer - 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."
The golfing legend had surgery on his back in December and told reporters on Saturday he was waiting for the results of an MRI scan before getting back into training for competition.
Sending my thoughts and prayers to @TigerWoods. Get well soon champ 🙏🏼— Gareth Bale (@GarethBale11) February 23, 2021
He had hoped to to play in the Masters at Augusta National in April, but it is not yet known what effect today's incident will have on his chances of playing.
Woods recovered from spinal fusion surgery in 2017 to win a 15th major at the 2019 Masters.
"I'm feeling fine - I'm a little stiff," Woods said in an interview broadcast on the PGA Tour's official Twitter feed.
"I have one more MRI scheduled so that we'll see if the annulus is scarred over finally and then I can start doing more activities.
"Still in the gym, still doing the mundane stuff that you have to do for rehab. The little things where I can start gravitating toward something more."
Asked if he would be at Augusta National in seven weeks' time, Woods replied: "God, I hope so," before adding the results of his MRI scan would determine whether he would be able to fit in a warm-up event.