Tiger Woods in surgery after roll-over car crash
Los Angeles (AFP) –
US golfer Tiger Woods was hospitalized Tuesday after a car crash in which his vehicle sustained "major damage," the Los Angeles County Sheriff's department said.
Woods, the sole occupant, was removed from the wreckage by firefighters and paramedics, and suffered "multiple leg injuries," his agent said in a statement to US media.
"He is currently in surgery and we thank you for your privacy and support," said Mark Steinberg.
Woods was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
The roll-over crash near Los Angeles did not involve any other vehicles. Television images showed the car lying on a patch of grass off the road, with its hood badly damaged.
Woods, one of the most successful golfers of all time, has won 15 major golf championships.
He recently underwent his fifth back surgery, and said he was uncertain if he will be able to play at the upcoming Masters, which he last won in 2019.
According to celebrity website TMZ, 45-year-old Woods was in the area for his annual Genesis Invitational golf tournament at the Riviera Country Club.
"We have been made aware of Tiger Woods' car accident today," PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said in a statement.
"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," he added.
Skier Lindsey Vonn, Wood's former girlfriend, tweeted: "Praying for TW right now."
Woods made an astonishing comeback from a series of career-threatening injuries and personal problems to sensationally win the Masters in 2019, his first major title since the 2008 US Open.
He was one of the most revered athletes in the world when he became engulfed in scandal in late 2009.
Woods smashed his car into a tree and a fire hydrant outside his luxury Florida home, sparking a series of scandalous revelations that doomed his marriage and put his game in freefall.
- Previous crashes -
He later divorced from his Swedish wife Elin Nordegren, with whom he has two children, after a cascade of women came forward to say they had affairs with the golfer, making him fodder for tabloids around the world.
Woods underwent four back surgeries between 2014 and 2017.
In May 2017, Woods was arrested near his Jupiter Island home in Florida after he was asleep at the wheel of his car in a traffic lane.
He said he had taken a mixture of prescription drugs and did not realize they would cause him to fall asleep.
Woods pleaded guilty to reckless driving and was hit with a fine and community service.
He is the winner of 82 US PGA titles, level with Sam Snead for the all-time record.
Woods remains three major victories shy of the all-time record 18 won by Jack Nicklaus, but only four winners in major history have taken a title at an older age than Woods is now.
In 2000-2001, while aged just 25, Woods became the first man to hold the US Open, British Open, the USPGA and the Masters titles at the same time.
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