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Tiger Woods ‘lucky to be alive’ after suffering ‘multiple open fractures’ in car crash

The 15-time major winner was taken to hospital after the crash – which is being investigated and officials say will take “weeks”.

By Sunita Patel-Carstairs, Ian Collier and Emily Mee, news reporters

Tiger Woods suffered “multiple open fractures” to his right leg in a serious car crash in Los Angeles, according to a surgeon at the hospital treating him.

In a statement posted on the golfer’s official Twitter account by his TGR foundation, Anish Mahajan, chief medical officer at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center where the sportsman has undergone emergency surgery by orthopaedic trauma specialists, said Woods suffered “significant” injuries “to his right lower extremity”.

“Comminuted open fractures affecting both the upper and lower portions of the tibia and fibula bones were stabilised by inserting a rod into the tibia,” he said.

“Additional injuries to the bones of the foot and ankle were stabilised with a combination of screws and pins.

“Trauma to the muscle and soft tissue of the leg required surgical release of the covering of the muscles to relieve pressure due to swelling.”

TGR added that the 45-year-old is “currently awake, responsive and recovering in his hospital room”.

Earlier, authorities investigating the car crash said there was no evidence he was impaired at the time.

“I will say that it’s very fortunate that Mr Woods was able to come out of this alive,” said Carlos Gonzalez, the deputy from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department who was the first on the scene.

The crash happened on the border of Rolling Hills Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes on Tuesday morning.

The sheriff’s office said Woods was the only person in the car, and authorities later confirmed his injuries were not life-threatening but said he was in a “serious” condition.

The golfer sustained “serious injuries to both legs” during the crash, according to Los Angeles County Fire Department chief Daryl Osby.

Speaking at a news conference, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said investigators at the scene “did not see any evidence of impairment” although there were indications the car was travelling at a “relatively greater speed than normal”.

Aerial footage showed the car on its side, with its front end heavily damaged and its airbags deployed.

Despite huge damage to the 2021 Genesis SUV, the interior “remained more or less intact, giving [Woods] the cushion to survive what would have otherwise been a fatal crash”, Mr Villanueva said.

It was found 213 metres (700ft) from the central divider at the intersection, having hit a kerb and then a tree before rolling several times, the sheriff added.

Woods was “alert and talking” when paramedics arrived at the scene, according to NBC News correspondent Jennifer Bjorklund.

Reports suggested jaws of life were used to extricate Woods from the car, but Mr Osby clarified other equipment including an axe had been used to pry the golfer free through the vehicle’s windscreen.

An investigation into the crash is likely to take “several weeks”, Mr Villanueva said, adding that there are frequent accidents on the stretch of road, which has a “downward slope”.

Woods’s agent Mark Steinberg told Golf Digest in a statement: “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.”

Sky News sports correspondent Martha Kelner said Woods spent Monday giving a private golf lesson to NBA legend Dwyane Wade.

He was due to be hosting a second day of celebrity lessons on Tuesday.

“As if his body hasn’t endured enough,” said world number two Jon Rahm from the WGC-Workday Championship in Florida.

“I just hope he can get out of the hospital after recovery and he can still play with his kids and have a normal life.”

Speaking at a news conference ahead of the event, world number three Justin Thomas added: “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. Man, I just hope he’s alright. Just worry for his kids, you know. I’m sure they’re struggling.”

Jack Nicklaus, whose record of 18 major titles has been one of Woods’s biggest goals, wrote on Twitter: “Barbara and I just heard about Tiger’s accident, and like everyone else, we are deeply concerned.

“We want to offer him our heartfelt support and prayers at this difficult time.”

Former world number one Justin Rose wrote on Twitter: “@tigerwoods, just seen the awful news.

“We know how tough you are, we’ve seen it a hundred times. Hoping and praying you’re ok my friend.”

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

And former US alpine ski racer Lindsey Vonn, an ex-girlfriend of Woods, tweeted: “Praying for TW right now.”

The car crash is the latest setback for Woods, who at times has looked unstoppable on the golf course with his 15 major championships and record-tying 82 victories on the PGA Tour.

He has not played since December, when he took part in the PNC Championship in Orlando with his son, Charlie, who turned 12 earlier this month.

On 23 December he had his fifth back surgery and said last weekend that he was unsure whether he would be able to play in the Masters Tournament in April.

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