Golf star Tiger Woods suffered leg injuries in a vehicle rollover in suburban Los Angeles and was undergoing surgery on Tuesday, local authorities and his manager said.
The severity of his condition was not yet clear.
Woods was alone in the vehicle and had to be extricated from it, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement. No other cars were involved in the crash that injured the golfer.
The vehicle sustained major damage and Woods was taken to hospital by ambulance, authorities said.
“Tiger Woods was in a single-car accident this morning in California where he suffered multiple leg injuries,” said his manager, Mark Steinberg. “He is currently in surgery and we thank you for your privacy and support.”
The 15-time major champion last played December 20 in the PNC Championship with his 11-year-old son, Charlie. He had a fifth surgery on his back, a microdiscectomy, two days before Christmas and gave no indication when he would return. The Masters will take place April 8 to 11 and when asked if he would be there during a CBS telecast, Woods replied, “God, I hope so.”
This is the third time Woods has been involved in a car-related incident. The most notorious was the morning after Thanksgiving in 2009, when his SUV ran over a fire hydrant and hit a tree. That was the start of shocking revelations that he had been cheating on his wife with multiple women. Woods lost major corporate sponsorships, went to a rehabilitation clinic in Mississippi and did not return to golf for five months.
In May 2017, Florida police found him asleep behind the wheel of a car parked awkwardly on the side of the road. He was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence and said later he had an unexpected reaction to medicine prescribed for back pain. Woods later pleaded guilty to reckless driving and checked into a clinic for help managing prescription medication and a sleep disorder.
A timeline of Tiger Woods's career
August 1996 — Wins third straight US Amateur and turns professional the following week
October 1996 — Wins Las Vegas Invitational for his first PGA Tour victory in his fifth professional tournament
April 1997 — Wins the Masters at age 21 with a record score (270) and a record margin of victory (12 shots) to become its youngest champion
June 2000 — Wins the US Open at Pebble Beach by 15 shots, the largest margin in major championship history
April 2001 — Completes the "Tiger Slam", winning the Masters to become the only player to hold all four professional majors at the same time
October 2004 — Marries Elin Nordegren
June 2007 — Nordegren gives birth to their first child, daughter Samantha, a day after Woods finishes runner-up in the US Open
June 2008 — Wins US Open in a playoff at Torrey Pines for his 14th major, four short of the record held by Jack Nicklaus. A week later, has reconstructive surgery on left knee to repair a torn ACL and two stress fractures in left tibia. Takes a break from golf for eight months
February 2009 — Wife gives birth to their son, Charlie
August 2009 — Loses a two-shot lead in the final round of the PGA Championship to Y E Yang, the first time he lost a 54-hole lead in a major
November 2009 — Crashes SUV into a tree and a fire hydrant outside his Windemere, Florida home. Spends 45 days in a clinic and does not return to golf until the 2010 Masters
August 2010 — Divorce from Nordegren is finalised
March 2012 — Wins the Arnold Palmer Invitational for first PGA Tour victory since personal scandal
April 2014 — Has back surgery a week before the Masters and misses Augusta National for the first time
August 2014 — Misses the cut in the PGA Championship and says he will take rest of the year off, including the Ryder Cup, to get healthy
February 2015 — Looking like an amateur in his short game, shoots 82 in the Phoenix Open to miss the cut. A week later at Torrey Pines, withdraws after 11 holes. Announces he is taking time off to work on his game, saying that "my play and scores are not acceptable for tournament golf".
April 2015 — Returns to the Masters, chipping issues gone, and ties for 17th
June 2015 — Shoots an 85 in the third round of the Memorial, his highest score as a professional
August 2015 — Misses the cut in his third straight major at the PGA Championship
September 2015 — Has second back surgery
October 2015 — Has third back surgery
December 2015 — In a sombre press conference at his Hero World Challenge, Woods says of his future, "So where is the light at the end of the tunnel? I don't know." He says he wants to play again and anything else he achieves will be "gravy".
January 2017 — Makes first PGA Tour start since 2015 and misses the cut at Torrey Pines
April 2017 — Has fourth back surgery, this one to fuse his lower back
May 2017 — Arrested and briefly jailed in Jupiter, Florida, on suspicion of driving under the influence. Attributes actions to a bad combination of pain medication
October 2017 — Pleads guilty to reckless driving and agrees to enter a diversion programme. Prosecutors drop driving under the influence charge under the plea agreement
December 2017 — Returns to competition at Hero World Challenge, posts three rounds in the 60s and ties for ninth against an 18-man field, 10 shots behind
July 2018 — Takes the lead in the final round of the British Open, only to make double bogey on the 12th hole and finish in a tie for sixth
August 2018 — Closes with a 64, his lowest final round ever in a major, and is runner-up to Brooks Koepka in PGA Championship
September 2018 — Wins Tour Championship in 80th career victory on the PGA Tour, leaving him two shy of the record held by Sam Snead
April 2019 — Wins the Masters for his fifth green jacket and 15th major title, his first in 11 years. Moves within three victories of Jack Nicklaus's record for major championships