Tiger Woods was in a violent rollover car crash in the Rancho Palos Verdes area Tuesday, requiring him to be rescued from the SUV and rushed to surgery, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
Woods, one of the top-ranked golfers in the world and the athlete who “made golf cool” to younger generations, was in the South Bay serving as the tournament host of the Genesis Invitational at Riviera and filming lessons with celebrities for Discovery-owned GOLFTV.
At 7 a.m. Tuesday, Woods was traveling in a Genesis GV80 on a winding road when his vehicle crossed across all lanes and he crashed at Hawthorne Boulevard and Blackhorse Road on the border of Rolling Hills Estates.
He was the only person in the car and it was a single-car crash, according to LASD. The report came in at 7:22 a.m. and by 7:28, rescuers had reached his vehicle, LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva revealed in a news conference.
The Orange County native was trapped, and rescuers removed him from the car via the windshield after using a Halligan bar.
Late Tuesday, a statement was released on Woods' social media thanking everyone for their support.
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The statement said Woods "underwent a long surgical procedure on his lower right leg and ankle after being taken to the hospital."
A rod was inserted to stabilize fractures affecting both the upper and lower portions of Woods' leg, along with screws and pins added to treat the foot and ankle, said Harbor-UCLA Medical Center Chief Medical Officer & Interim CEO Dr. Anish Mahajan in the statement.
"He is currently awake, responsive, and recovering in his hospital room," the statement continued.
The first person to arrive on scene after a neighbor called 911 was Sheriff's Deputy Carlos Gonzalez. The deputy told NBC's "TODAY" show that it was dark and all he could see was a pair of open eyes. When he asked the driver for his name, Woods replied: "Tiger."
"It took me a half second, but I saw his face and I thought 'oh, yeah, you're Tiger Woods," Gonzalez told NBC's Craig Melvin. "But of course, I got a job to do so I immediately went into assessment questions to gauge what his condition was in and what his mental state was at the time."
Gonzalez said Woods was "lucid and calm" but did not think the golf star was aware of "how gravely he was injured," citing the possible mix of "adrenaline and shock" in the aftermath of the crash.
Woods was not able to stand on his own. He was indeed wearing a seat belt, the deputy said. Villanueva said deputies responding to the crash saw no evidence of impairment. Asked by Melvin Wednesday if a toxicology report was ordered at the scene, Gonzalez said he wasn't aware of one being requested and reiterated that there were no signs or evidence that Woods was impaired at the time.
Woods was taken to UCLA Harbor Medical, a level-one trauma center.
Woods was driving a Genesis GV80, the first sport utility vehicle from the Korean automaker. Driver-assistance features are standard on the mid-level luxury SUV, including a semi-autonomous driving mode.
Woods' manager Mark Steinberg said he suffered multiple leg injuries in the crash, and was undergoing surgery.
Villanueva said at the time of Woods' crash, there was another minor crash involving "lookie-loos."
The Los Angeles County Fire Department reported he was taken to the hospital in serious condition, but was in a non-life-threatening state.
The front-end of the SUV was "totally destroyed" while the interior cabin was intact, Villanueva said.
Todd Lewis of the Golf Channel told NBCLA that Woods had been recovering from several back surgeries prior to this wreck.
He had a fifth surgery on his back, a microdiscectomy, two days before Christmas and gave no indication when he would return to golfing, according to the AP.
Woods told CBS Sunday that he was due to have an MRI to determine when he could start training to return to competition.
A day prior, Woods was on a golf course with former Miami Heat basketball star Dwyane Wade. He did not play.
Woods was working with celebrities on a TV shoot, giving lessons to Wade and actor David Spade.
The PGA released a statement, sending Woods well wishes after news of the crash.
"On behalf of the PGA, tour and our players, Tiger is in our prayers and will have our full support as he recovers," the statement read.
Celebrities from Jada Pinkett Smith to Jack Nicklaus and Magic Johnson all began sharing their prayers and support for the 45-year-old golf star after news of the rollover crash.
Back in 2009, Woods was in another solo crash in Florida. He slammed into a fire hydrant, and the airbags did not deploy, leaving him with injuries.
In May 2017, he also was arrested on a DUI charge after he was discovered asleep in his car parked on the side of the road by Florida police. He later said he was taking medication for back pain and had a reaction. He later pleaded guilty to reckless driving.