Golf legend Tiger Woods was seriously injured Tuesday in a one-car accident in Southern California, authorities said.
Woods’ Genesis GV80 crashed and sustained “major damage” at 7:12 a.m. PT on the border of Rolling Hills Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.
Woods was conscious and stable when he was removed from the car, Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby said Tuesday at a news conference.
Deputies did not see any signs of impairment when they arrived at the scene, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said at the same news conference.
The cause of the crash, which occurred as Woods was heading north on Hawthorne Boulevard at Blackhorse Road, is under investigation. Villanueva said accidents are not uncommon in the area because of the downhill slopes and curves on the road.
“Thankfully, the interior was more or less intact, which gave him the cushion to survive,” Villanueva said. “Otherwise, it would have been a fatal crash.”
Woods, the driver and the only occupant of the vehicle, was rushed to a hospital, Villanueva said. Authorities initially said he had to be extricated from the car with the Jaws of Life, but Osby clarified Tuesday that different tools were used.
Woods had serious injuries to both legs when he was taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. His agent, Mark Steinberg, said Tuesday afternoon that Woods required surgery for multiple leg injuries.
Sheriff’s Deputy Carlos Gonzalez, one of the first responders to the scene, told reporters that Woods could not stand on his own but that he was lucid and able to hold a conversation. Gonzalez added that Woods was wearing his seat belt.
“I will say that it’s very fortunate that Mr. Woods was able to come out of this alive, because this is an accident-prone stretch of road,” Gonzalez said. “We’ve seen a number of accidents on this stretch of roadway.”
Images of the scene showed the sport utility vehicle on its side with its front end almost totally smashed apart.
Woods also crashed his car just a few days after Thanksgiving 2009 in Florida. The accident inadvertently revealed a bitter marital dispute with his then-wife, Elin Nordegren, as a host of women came forward to admit to having had extramarital affairs with Woods. An HBO documentary last month chronicled his meteoric rise and public shaming in 2009 and 2010.
Woods, 45, who is based in Jupiter, Florida, was in Southern California over the weekend for the Genesis Invitational, which benefits his foundation. He is recovering from back surgery in December, his fifth such operation, and has not played in a tournament this year.
Woods is considered one of the greatest golfers in history. He has won 82 tournaments, tied for the most in a career with Sam Snead, and he has won 15 major championships, second only to Jack Nicklaus.
Woods’ last tournament title was at the 2019 Zozo Championship in Japan. His most recent major victory was at the 2019 Masters.