LOS ANGELES — Golf star Tiger Woods suffered leg injuries Tuesday in a vehicle rollover in the Los Angeles area and is undergoing surgery, authorities and his manager said. His condition isn’t yet known.
Woods had to be extricated from the vehicle with the “jaws of life” tools, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement. Woods was taken to the hospital by ambulance.
No other cars were involved in the wreck and the vehicle sustained major damage, the sheriff’s department said.
A helicopter over the scene of the accident showed a car on its side with the front end heavily damaged. Air bags appeared to have deployed. The wreckage was just off the side of a road on a hillside.
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, whose first name is Eldrick, was the sole occupant of the vehicle, the sheriff’s department said.
The accident occurred shortly before 7:15 a.m. about 20 miles south of downtown Los Angeles, on the border of the upscale communities of Rolling Hills Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes, officials said.
The cause of the crash is under investigation.
The PGA Tour released a statement on the crash, saying “We have been made aware of Tiger Woods’ 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.”
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.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.