By STEFANIE DAZIO and DOUG FERGUSON, Associated Press
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Golf star Tiger Woods suffered leg injuries Tuesday in a vehicle rollover in suburban Los Angeles and was undergoing surgery, authorities and his manager said.
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 wreck that injured the golfer.
An ambulance took Woods to a hospital in serious condition, 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.”
A KABC-TV helicopter over the wreck showed a car on its side, with its front end heavily damaged just off the side of a road near a hillside. The air bags appeared to be deployed.
There was a second crash when a vehicle that had apparently stopped to help Woods got hit, said Christopher Thomas, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Fire Department. That wreck was very minor, and no one was hurt.
Woods’ crash occurred shortly before 7:15 a.m. about 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of downtown Los Angeles, on the border of the upscale communities of Rolling Hills Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes, officials said.
Woods was in Los Angeles over the weekend as the tournament host of the Genesis Invitational at Riviera, where he presented the trophy. He was to spend Monday and Tuesday filming with Discovery-owned GOLFTV, with whom he has an endorsement contract. A tweet Monday showed him in a cart smiling with comedian David Spade.
According to Golf Digest, also owned by Discovery, the TV shoot was on-course lessons to celebrities, such as Spade and Dwyane Wade. He did not play.
The 15-time major champion last played Dec. 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 is April 8-11 and when asked if he would be there during the CBS telecast, Woods replied, “God, I hope so.”
This is the third time Woods has been involved in a car investigation. The most notorious was the early 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 sponsorship, 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 DUI charge and said later he had an unexpected reaction to prescription medicine his back pain. Woods later pleaded guilty to reckless driving and checked into a clinic to get help with prescription medication and a sleep disorder.
Ferguson reported from Jacksonville, Florida.