Tiger Woods' highs and lows: from winning a 15th major to personal scandal and 'lucky to be alive' - in pictures

Former world No 1 undergoes surgery after car crash

Tiger Woods has undergone surgery on leg injuries after being cut from his car following an accident in Los Angeles.

Fire crews had to use "jaws of life" cutting equipment to remove Woods from the wreckage of the vehicle after it rolled over and suffered "major damage".

LA county deputy Carlos Gonzalez "it’s very fortunate that Mr Woods was able to come out of this alive” after attending the scene.

A statement on Woods's Twitter account said the 15-time major winner had suffered multiple "open fractures" to his lower right leg, with a rod placed in his tibia and screws and pins in his ankle.

Here, John McAuley looks at some of the highs and lows experienced by the 15-time major winner and former world No 1.

HIGHS

1997 Masters – Announces himself to the world with record-breaking 12-shot victory at Augusta, sealing first major title. Aged only 21, he set 20 new marks in all during the tournament, including youngest winner.

2001 Masters – Prevails at Augusta to hold all four majors at once, dubbed the “Tiger Slam”. His golf the previous year, when he won nine events including three majors (US Open by record 15 shots), considered greatest single season in history.

2008 US Open – Captures 14th major with superb play-off victory against Rocco Mediate at Torrey Pines. Achievement all the more remarkable when later revealed he had double stress fracture of his left tibia.

2013 Resurgence – Returns to form after high-profile scandal surrounding his personal life. Won five times, including the Players Championship, and regained world No 1 spot for first time since 2010.

2018 Tour Championship – Wins for first time in more than five years, and after fourth back surgery threatened career, at season-ending event in Atlanta. Climbs to world No 13 having been ranked 1199 only 10 months previously.

2019 Masters – Triumphs at Augusta to secure fifth Green Jacket and 15th major crown. Coming less than two years after his arrest, the emotional, two-shot victory ends 11-year major drought. Celebrated as one of sport’s great comebacks.

LOWS

2009 PGA Championship – Creates unwanted history by losing his first major when holding the 54-hole lead. Posts final-round 75 at Hazeltine to miss out by three shots to YE Yang. Personal life unravels only months later.

Personal scandal – Exemplary public image erodes when found bleeding and semi-conscious after car hit tree and fire hydrant outside Florida home on 2009 Thanksgiving weekend. String of extramarital affairs revealed, leading to divorce from wife Elin Nordegren and loss of sponsors. Undergoes therapy.

2014 Honda Classic – Withdraws after 13th hole of final round citing back spasms. Heralds beginning of persistent back problems, leading to four operations in four years. Misses 2016/2017 majors; withdraws after first round of 2017 Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

2017 DUI arrest – Arrested on suspicion of DUI in Florida in May after being found asleep at wheel of car with engine running. Later confirmed alcohol not a factor - Woods cited prescription pain medication - but police mugshot goes viral.

Rankings low – Battle with injury leads to time away from game and loss of form, prompting a fall to No 1199 in the world by December 2017. Marks his lowest placing in the Official World Golf Ranking.

2021 car accident – Involved in serious crash in Los Angeles, sustains multiple leg injuries. No other vehicle involved. Team later posts statement detailing “long surgical procedure on his lower right leg and ankle”, but report Woods to be “currently awake, responsive and recovering in hospital”. Police at scene of crash say golfer “very fortunate” to be alive.

Published: February 24, 2021 11:38 AM

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