The sports world is in shock and praying for Tiger Woods following news he was rushed to hospital for emergency surgery following a car crash in suburban L. A and in the early hours of Tuesday morning (US time).
Woods had been rushed to the Harbor-UCLA Medical Centre, the nearest hospital, where he was undergoing surgery to correct ‘multiple injuries’ to his legs, his agent Mark Steinberg said in a statement shortly after the crash.
Tiger Woods’ vehicle after the crash this morning that now has him in surgery for what his agent is calling “multiple leg injuries.” pic.twitter.com/VbI5qvyj8g
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 23, 2021
The 15-time Major winner had been staying at a local hotel close to the Rolling Hills Golf and Country Club, to the south of L.A. where he was setting out for the second day of shooting for a Golf TV production. Production sources informed TMZ Sports that when the director arrived just before 7 AM, Tiger was driving his SUV very fast as he was leaving the property and almost hit the director’s car.
The director was shaken enough to tell production staff about it after he parked. A crew member who saw Tiger as he got in his SUV at the hotel also informed TMZ Sports, once Tiger got in his vehicle, that there was a delay in driving off and he appeared “agitated and impatient.” The crew member says once the delay was over, Tiger “took off fast.”
What then followed remained unclear other than that Woods, at around 7.12am local time, hit a sign and seemingly lost control crossing the central reservation with his Genesis Invitational courtesy car travelling a further 476-feet and ending-up off the dual carriageway and down an embankment.
The Genesis SUV was a write-off with the sports world waiting desperately for news on the 45-year old’s condition. It was then learned around midnight (Irish time) that Woods was suspected to have two broken legs. It has been confirmed that his right leg suffered significant injuries, including “comminuted open fractures” to the lower leg and a shattered ankle. He was said to be awake and responsive following surgery and is now recovering in hospital.
Good friend and World No. 3 Justin Thomas was among the first to express shock after being asked about the Woods accident while attending a pre-Workday WGC at Concession press conference at the Concession course near Bradenton on the west coast of Florida.
“I’m sick to my stomach”, said Thomas. “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.”
Bryson DeChambeau, who won six years ago on the Concession course, was similarly emotional: “A bit shocked, obviously. You don’t expect anything like that to happen,” he said. “But from everything that I know about Tiger, I’m sure he’ll recover and he’ll do everything in his power to come back, I’m sure he will. It’s something that I feel terrible about for him.
“I texted Rob (McNamara – Officially VP of TGR Enterprises but Woods’ swing coach and confidant), I called Rob and he said he’s got some things going on obviously with his legs and stuff, broken. But I will say that whatever’s happened, he’s always come back from it in a pretty amazing way. He’s an amazing human being that has done incredible things.
“I mean, you look back to Ben Hogan and what happened with him in the bus crash, right, and what he was able do after that. I have no doubt in my mind he’ll be back. It may take him a little longer, I’m sure, but from my perspective he’s one of the most impressive human beings I’ve ever met and I think that he’ll come back just fine.”
Tony Finau was shaking hands with Woods just last Sunday after finishing runner-up at the Genesis Invitational where Woods was again hosting. “I saw the condition of his car,” said Finau.
“To me, you just hope that he’s okay, that’s the biggest reaction really. A little bit shocked. You know, something crazy happened to our sports world last year with Kobe, so I wouldn’t say that dramatic of feelings, but man, you just hope Tiger’s all right.
“We all know he’s a strong cookie physically, mentally, so if someone’s going to get through this, he will and be back for the better, I’m sure. My thoughts and prayers I’m sure as all the players, I can speak on their behalf, are with Tiger.”
World No. 2 Jon Rahm was equally shocked.
“I saw it on our phones and I couldn’t believe it,” said the Spaniard. “As if his body hasn’t endured enough. I don’t know all the facts, I just know he was in an accident and he underwent surgery and he’s in the hospital or something like that.
“Just hoping out of a bad situation, the best possible outcome and I hope he can recover from it and we can see him on the golf course as early as possible. I know he underwent surgery early this year, so I hope he didn’t damage anything he had done already.”
Billy Horschel commented: “I didn’t have my phone on me. I looked in my bag and got some text messages, Bubba gave me the “What have you heard?” It hadn’t been reported by ESPN or anybody. Then 30 seconds later somebody sends him and says it’s obviously Golf TV, either a Tweet or something.
“Yeah, man, it’s tough. He’s a friend and, you know, I think so far from what we’ve heard it’s non life-threatening injuries. Still scary, we don’t know the full gist of it. Yeah, I mean, Bubba and I, like I said, we’re praying for him. He sent some texts to Steinberg saying we’re praying for TW. Yeah, just very tough right now”.
The PGA Tour said in a statement: “We have been made aware of Tiger Woods’ car accident today. We are awaiting further information when he comes out of surgery. On behalf of the PGA Tour and our players, Tiger is in our prayers and will have our full support as he recovers.”