By STEFANIE DAZIO and DOUG FERGUSON
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tiger Woods was seriously injured on Feb. 23 when his SUV rolled over and ended up on its side in suburban Los Angeles, authorities said. The golf superstar had to be pulled out through the windshield, and his agent said he was undergoing leg surgery.
Woods was alone in the SUV when it crashed shortly before 7:15 a.m., the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement. No other cars were involved. Woods was conscious and alert as firefighters pried open the front windshield to get him out, said Christopher Thomas, a spokesman for the county Fire Department.
The cause of the wreck wasn’t clear. The two-lane road curves through upscale suburbs, and the northbound side that Woods was driving on descends steeply enough that signs warn trucks to use lower gears.
The speed limit is 45 mph.
Images showed the SUV on its side, with its front end heavily damaged, just off the side of a road near a hillside. An ambulance took the 45-year-old Woods to a hospital, authorities said.
Woods was in Los Angeles over the weekend as the tournament host of the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club, where he presented the trophy on Feb. 21. He was to spend the following two days filming with Discovery-owned GOLFTV, with whom he has an endorsement. A tweet on Feb. 22 showed Woods in a cart smiling with comedian David Spade.
According to Golf Digest, also owned by Discovery, the TV shoot was on-course lessons for celebrities, such as Spade and Dwyane Wade, at Rolling Hills Country Club.
The SUV Woods was driving had tournament logos on the side door, indicating it was a courtesy car for players at the Genesis Invitational. Tournament director Mike Antolini did not immediately respond to a text message, though it is not unusual for players to keep courtesy cars a few days after the event.
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 sponsorships, went to a rehabilitation clinic in Mississippi and did not return to golf for five months.