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Tiger Woods in surgery after vehicle rolls over in crash – ESPN

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2:40 PM ET

  • Bob HarigESPN Senior Writer

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    • Senior golf writer for ESPN.com
    • Covered golf for more than 20 years
    • Earned Evans Scholarship to attend Indiana University

Tiger Woods was involved in a serious car accident on Monday morning in Southern California that required him to be extracted from the vehicle, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Woods, 45, has “multiple leg injuries” according to his agent, Mark Steinberg, who said the golfer was in surgery Tuesday afternoon.

Emergency personnel responded to a roll-over crash at approximately 7:12 a.m. PT in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. A police source said the initial report from the accident scene indicated the possibility of two broken legs and that the injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

“Tiger Woods was in a single-car accident this morning in California where he suffered multiple leg injuries,” Steinberg said in his statement. “He is currently in surgery and we thank you for your privacy and support.”

According to the Sheriff’s department, the “single vehicle roll-over traffic collision” occurred on the border of Rolling Hills Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes. “The vehicle sustained major damage.” He was taken to the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.

L.A. sheriff captain James C. Power told ABC that the vehicle’s windshield was popped open to remove Woods. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department initially said in a statement that the Jaws of Life tools were used.

Chris Thomas, a representative of the Los Angeles County Fire Department, told ESPN’s Mark Schlabach that rescue personnel had to extract Woods from the windshield of the SUV. Another car, which had stopped and pulled over to the side of the road to assist Woods shortly after the accident, was struck by another vehicle coming over the hill. Thomas said it was a minor traffic accident with no injuries.

Woods, who was rehabbing from a Dec. 23 back procedure, was in the area for the Genesis Invitational, a PGA Tour event that he hosts at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades. The tournament is run by his foundation. Based on video footage and photos, it appears that Woods hit a curb and took out a Rolling Hills sign. Luggage could be seen out of the vehicle.

On Sunday, in an interview with CBS during the final-round broadcast, Woods suggested that he had yet to ramp up golf activity following his fifth back procedure and gave no timetable for his return.

But social media posts on Monday and Tuesday showed that he had stayed in the area, ostensibly to film various outtakes and scenes for GolfTV, a streaming entity with which he has an endorsement deal. Actor David Spade and former NBA star Dwyane Wade posted photos with Woods on social media from Rolling Hills Country Club. GolfTV and Golf Digest have a collaboration in which Woods is paid to provide content. He was believed to be headed to another session with the group on Tuesday.

Justin Thomas, one of Woods’ friends on the PGA Tour, discussed the car accident while he prepared for the WGC-Workday Championship in Bradenton, Florida.

“I’m sick to my stomach. You know, it hurts to see one of your — now one of my closest friends get in an accident,” Thomas said. “Man, I just hope he’s all right. Just worry for his kids, you know. I’m sure they’re struggling.”

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan issued a statement wishing Woods the best.

“On behalf of the PGA Tour and our players, Tiger is in our prayers and will have our full support as he recovers,” Monahan said in a statement.

“Tiger Woods is part of the Augusta National family, and the news of his accident is upsetting to all of us,” August National Golf Club chairman Fred Ridley said. “We pray for him, for his full recovery and for his family during this difficult time.”

Woods, an 82-time PGA Tour winner, overcame several injuries to return to golf in 2018 as well as a bout with prescription pain medication that led to a 2017 DUI arrest and subsequent probation. Woods was found several miles from his South Florida home in May of that year, some five weeks after a spinal fusion surgery was performed to alleviate the constant nerve pain in his lower back. The surgery fused an area of his spine, and Woods — after six months without being able to swing a club — was able to return to hitting balls.

He returned and played a full schedule in 2018, winning the Tour Championship for his 80th victory and in April of 2019, he won the Masters for his 15th major title and fifth win at Augusta National. Later that year, he won the Zozo Championship for his 82nd PGA Tour victory, tying Sam Snead’s record.

Ranked 50th in the world, Woods had a disappointing 2020 season, as he played just nine times around the pandemic, his best finish a tie for ninth in January. The last time he officially competed was at the Masters in November, where he tied for 38th. He also played in an exhibition, the PNC Championship, with his 11-year-old son Charlie in December, just days before his latest back procedure.

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