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“Lucky to be alive” Tiger Woods recovering after metal rod inserted into his shattered right leg, screws and pins in his ankle

  • Woods, 45, is at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, had surgery for ‘multiple leg injuries’ and is recovering
  • Woods was arrested in 2017 after crashing his car in Jupiter, Florida, while drunk 
  • Cause of Tuesday’s crash is not yet known but LA Sheriff’s Department detectives are investigating 
  • Woods recently underwent his fifth back surgery and has not been playing competitively while he recovers

Tiger Woods is ‘awake, responsive and recovering in his hospital room’ after extensive surgery on Tuesday to his lower right leg and ankle, following a crash in California that police said he was lucky to survive. 

Woods, 45, suffered comminuted fractures – a break or splinter of the bone into more than two fragments – in both the upper and lower parts of the tibia and fibula, his doctors said on Tuesday night.

Anish Mahajan, chief medical officer at the Harbor-UCLA hospital, said Woods had a rod inserted in his tibia, and his foot and ankle were ‘stabilized with a combination of screws and pins’.

Woods’ muscles surrounding the bones were cut to relieve swelling, Mahajan said, describing his ‘significant orthopaedic injuries’. 

The doctors did not say what Woods’ prognosis was. 

Their update came as the first police officer to help at the scene of the golfer’s car crash said Woods is ‘very fortunate to be alive’.

It was revealed he was driving at high speed at a notorious accident-prone spot in Los Angeles. Investigators will test whether he had drugs or alcohol in his system. 

Deputy Carlos Gonzalez found Woods conscious in the driver’s seat of his Genesis GV80 shortly after 7am.

Sources close to the golfer told Woods’ injuries include a compound fracture and shattered ankle in one leg. He is undergoing surgery to put the pieces of his ankle back together, the source added. 

A neighbor who heard the crash called 911, and on arrival Gonzalez immediately realized that the golfer was too severely injured for him to move alone. Woods was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.

Gonzalez said he talked to Woods, to keep him calm until he could be cut from his vehicle, which was badly damaged from the impact – although the protective interior was intact.

‘When I arrived on the scene Mr Woods was in the driver’s seat,’ Gonzalez said on Tuesday afternoon. 

‘He was able to speak to me. He seemed calm and lucid. I kept Mr Woods calm until LA County fire department arrived on the scene.

‘He told me his name was Tiger, and at that point I immediately recognized him. He seemed lucid and calm.

‘He didn’t seem concerned about his injuries, which is common in car accidents. They may be in shock, and pain not felt until later.’

Gonzalez added: ‘He was injured. And he was successfully removed and taken to the hospital.’ 

Gonzalez reiterated that the particular stretch of road was ‘a hot spot for traffic collisions and speed’.

He emphasized the severity of the accident, and said that Woods was saved by his well-built, modern vehicle.

‘The interior passenger compartment was intact,’ he said. ‘The airbags deployed successfully.

‘I think this speaks to the marvel of modern engineering.’

Woods was undergoing surgery on Tuesday for non life- threatening injuries including a compound fracture and a shattered ankle.

The accident happened en route to a Los Angeles golf course, to film for GolfTV. 

Woods, who lives in Florida, was driving alone near Rancho Palos Verdes when his Genesis GV80 crossed the central reservation and flipped over at 7.12am.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva said the vehicle ‘rolled several hundred feet’.  

‘He was alive, he was conscious,’ said Villanueva, adding: ‘He was not able to get up. That was not an option.’

‘There was no evidence of impairment. There was no effort to draw blood or anything like that.’

Villanueva said he was traveling at ‘a greater speed than normal,’ but noted: ‘that area has a high frequency of accidents.’

He said the weather was not a factor.

He hit signs and ‘sheared’ a tree, Villanueva said. 

Police markings on the road suggest that Woods crossed the central reservation from before crashing in the greenery 

A second accident happened, when people slowed down to look. No one was injured in that second crash. 

Firefighters used a halligan tool to extricate Woods, freeing him from the car via the window.

They did not, contrary to their initial statement, use the ‘jaws of life’ to break open the car. 

Officials said that Woods was taken to ‘the most appropriate’ trauma center, rather than the closest one – saying this was a sign that he was not at immediate risk of losing his life. 

‘The fact that he was stable enough to be taken to a hospital further away, which was the most appropriate one, shows he was not so severe that he needed to be taken to the nearest hospital,’ said Daryl Osby, the Los Angeles County fire chief. 

Daryl Osby, the Los Angeles County Fire Chief, said that Woods was in a serious condition and taken to a trauma hospital

A straight line cut across the windscreen showed where first responders had sliced open the car to free Woods

He was taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, where he is now undergoing surgery to correct ‘multiple injuries’ on his legs, his agent Mark Steinberg said in a statement shortly after the crash. 

‘Tiger Woods was in a single-car accident this morning in California where he suffered multiple leg injuries. 

‘He is currently in surgery and we thank you for your privacy and support,’ Steinberg said.  

Sources close to the golfer told his injuries include a compound fracture and shattered ankle in one leg. He is undergoing surgery to put the pieces of his ankle back together, the source added. 

A source familiar with the investigation told The Los Angeles Times that Woods was staying at the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes and had left there early Tuesday to head to the Rolling Hills Country Club, about 20 minutes away, for filming. 

Golf Digest confirmed that Woods was on his way back to the country club for an additional photo and video shoot when the crash occurred.  

On Monday, he filmed with Jada Pinkett Smith, Dwyane Wade and David Spade for a series which involves him giving celebrities golfing lessons. 

On Tuesday he was scheduled to film with NFL stars Drew Brees, quarterback with the New Orleans Saints, and Justin Herbert, quarterback with the Los Angeles Chargers, ESPN reported.  

He lives in Florida but was in California over the weekend to host the PGA Genesis Invitational tournament. 

Genesis gave him a GV80 to drive for the week.

The car, which costs from $49,925, was the vehicle he crashed on Tuesday morning.

What caused him to crash remains unknown. 

He was arrested in 2017 after crashing his car while drunk near his home in Jupiter, Florida. 

Sources cited by TMZ say alcohol was not a factor in Tuesday’s crash but it is still under investigation, and that he was seen speeding away from his hotel moments before the crash. 

The crew of Grown-ish were also staying at the Terranea Resort. 

The show’s director – who wasn’t named but was quoted by TMZ – said Woods nearly hit his car on his way out. 

He seemed ‘agitated and impatient’ because he was held back from leaving, another source said.

Woods recently underwent his fifth back surgery and has not been playing competitively while he recovers. 

His live-in girlfriend Erica Herman is understood to be at the hospital where he is undergoing surgery.

The wreckage of Woods’ car on Tuesday after the crash shortly at 7am. He had to be pulled from the wreckage

Firefighters used what they call a halligan tool to rip open Woods' car and rescue him on Tuesday morning

Firefighters used what they call a halligan tool to rip open Woods’ car and rescue him on Tuesday morning 

A close-up shows blood on the airbag in the drivers seat after Woods was pulled from the vehicle

This is how far the golfer’s car was from the road. The cause of the crash is unclear, but sheriffs said it was traveling at speed 

Sources told he was driving a Genesis GV80 which had been lent to him by the car company while he was in California to host the PGA Tour’s Genesis Invitational over the weekend.

On Monday, Woods filmed with David Spade and Jada Pinkett Smith for GolfTV. He was staying in L.A. for a two-day shoot after hosting the PGA tournament over the weekend

Dwyane Wade was also on the golf course with him on Monday afternoon (left). Woods was driving a Genesis GV80 that he’d been lent for the week 

Pinkett Smith uploaded photos of her on the golf course with him on Instagram, writing: ‘Guess who I had the most awesome golf day with yesterdayyyyyy??? Yes! The magnificent @tigerwoods!!!! 

‘Yes … dreams come true✨I can’t wait for you to see my golf journey with Tiger. Stay tuned! @golftv @golfdigest’ 

David Spade also tweeted a photo with him. 

‘Golf lesson with this guy today. And you know what? He’s not bad… He picks things up very quickly. Good listener,’ he captioned it. 

Wayde uploaded a video of the pair where Woods was in high spirits.

They joked around about Wayde’s ability. Woods laughed: ‘We’re getting better!’

Images taken at the scene show police markings traversing the road and going over the central reservation which suggests that is the path Woods took.  

In a statement, the sheriff’s department said: ‘On February 23, at approximately 7.12am, LASD responded to a single vehicle roll-over traffic collision on the border of Rolling Hills Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes.  

‘The vehicle was traveling northbound on Hawthorne Boulevard, at Blackhorse Road, when it crashed.

‘The vehicle sustained major damage. The driver and sole occupant was identified as PGA golfer Eldrick ‘Tiger’ Woods. 

‘Mr. Woods was extricated from the wreck with the jaws of life by LA County firefighters and paramedics, then transported to a local hospital by ambulance for his injuries.’ 

The vehicle driven by golfer Tiger Woods lies on its side in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, on Tuesday, after the accid

The crash happened on the border of Rolling Hills Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes in LA on Tuesday morning. Woods was on his way to the Rolling Hills Country Club when he crashed

Woods lives with his girlfriend, Erica Herman, in his mansion in Jupiter, Florida. 

His agent recently hit out at an HBO documentary about him that he said was ‘salacious’ and ‘just another unauthorized and salacious outsider attempt to paint an incomplete portrait of one of the greatest athletes of all-time’. 

The documentary focuses on his childhood and his relationship with his father Earl, and also includes interviews with kindergarten teachers and former girlfriends. 

Woods does not appear and he has always been shy of sharing details of his personal life. 

He has two kids with his ex-wife Elin Nordegren – a daughter, Sam, 13, and son Charlie, 12. 

Woods and Nordegren divorced in 2010 after his infidelity with multiple women was exposed. 

The sporting world reacted with shock on Tuesday as news of the accident spread.

Justin Thomas, one of Woods’ friends and former World Number One, said: ‘I’m sick to my stomach. It hurts to see one of my closest friends get in an accident. I just hope he’s all right.

‘Just worried for his kids.. I’m sure they’ll struggle.’   

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan 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.’

Former President Donald Trump released a statement through his spokesperson to wish him well. 

‘Get well soon, Tiger. You are a true champion!’ he said. 

Trump is still banned from Twitter. 

He later appeared on Fox News, on Tuesday evening, and called him ‘a very special guy in many ways’. 

Trump and Woods have played golf together several times, and the former president was effusive in his praise. 

‘He’s a very respected person, so respected by the other players,’ said Trump.

‘They idolize him.

‘He’s going to be back – he’s been back before, he’ll be back again.

‘He knows how to do it and I have no doubt.

‘He’ll be back. He will be there, you watch.’

Asked what he would say to Woods, Trump said he’d tell him that he was needed.

‘I’d say get better, and get out there, because we all need him,’ he said.

‘When he’s on a show, the ratings are double and triple. Few people have that phenomena.

‘Ratings go up two or three times from when he wasn’t competing. The television ratings for golf go through the roof.’

He said there was ‘something very unique about Tiger.’ 

Rachel Uchitel, Woods’ former mistress who was the first to go public with allegations of infidelity in 2009, told The New York Post she was ‘shaken up’ by the crash. 

‘Obviously hearing the news has shaken me up as it’s probably shaken everybody up to see that. 

‘Hearing [agent Mark Steinberg] say that he’s in surgery for his legs is something that really worries me and when you hear a comment like that you know it’s true.

‘He’s an athlete and his legs are essential to his sport and to him being who he is and he’s already had trouble with his body up until this point…

‘He didn’t need any more injuries,’ she said.   

A car crash that seriously injured Tiger Woods Tuesday marked the latest chapter in 15-time major winner’s turbulent life following his meteoric rise to worldwide fame, spectacular fall from grace and epic 2019 comeback. 

The golf superstar, 45, had to be cut free by fire crews after his vehicle rolled over and suffered ‘major damage’. He is now undergoing surgery. 

Shocking images of Wood’s smashed up car following the accident in Los Angeles provided a stark flashback to his 2009 crash when he hit a fire hydrant outside his Orlando, Florida home. 

That came after he was chased out of his house by then wife Elin Nordegren over his numerous affairs and eventually led to admissions of infidelity and drug use.  

He was arrested for a DUI with five different kinds of drugs in his system in 2017 leading to Woods taking an ‘indefinite break’ from golf before his stunning comeback at the 2019 Masters. 

That journey to redemption had been an arduous one for Woods. 

Now, just months after a new HBO documentary heard from his mistress Rachel Uchitel for the first time, Woods is back in the headlines after crashing while driving alone near Rancho Palos Verdes when his Genesis GV80 flipped over at 7.12am. 

Uchitel said she was ‘shaken up’ after news of the crash first broke, telling The New York Post: ‘Obviously hearing the news has shaken me up as it’s probably shaken everybody up to see that. 

‘Hearing [agent Mark Steinberg] say that he’s in surgery for his legs is something that really worries me and when you hear a comment like that you know it’s true.’News of a serious car crash that left Tiger Woods with 'multiple leg injuries' Tuesday marked the latest chapter in 15-time major winner's turbulent life. Pictured: Masters champion Tiger Woods poses with his Masters trophy in 1997

Woods poses with his trophy after winning the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club, Sunday, April 14, 2019

Pictured: Masters champion Tiger Woods poses with his Masters trophy in 1997, left, and in 2019, right 

The world’s first billionaire golfer – who Nike built their entire golf business on – Woods was once the most famous sportsman in the entire world. A mixed-race man from modest beginnings had taken on the rich, privileged and very white world of golf and beaten it into submission. 

Playing his first major as a professional and paired with defending champion Nick Faldo in the 1997 Masters, Woods set a tournament record of 18 under par and win by 12 shots from Tom Kite. 

Two months later Woods became world number one for the first time and went on to spend a record 683 weeks at the top of the rankings, including a record 281 in succession.  

Woods almost ran out of balls during his delayed second round of the 2000 US Open at Pebble Beach after practicing his putting the night before and leaving three balls in his hotel room. 

Thankfully he found the 18th fairway at the second attempt with his last remaining ball and stormed to a record 15-shot victory.

A month later he carded four rounds in the 60s to win the Open Championship at St Andrews by eight shots and become the youngest player to complete a career grand slam. 

In August of that year Woods successfully defended his US PGA Championship title following a play-off with Bob May at Valhalla and the following April a second Masters victory made him the only player to hold all four major titles at the same time. 

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