ORLANDO, Fla. - Tiger Woods was in the driver’s seat of a mangled SUV that rolled and ended up on its side down a steep roadway in the Los Angeles suburbs Tuesday morning, seatbelt still fastened, both legs seriously injured.
He was lucid enough to give his name —"Tiger" — to the sheriff’s deputy who had poked his head through a hole in the windshield.
"At that moment, it clicked in my mind and I immediately recognized him as Tiger Woods," Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Carlos Gonzalez said Tuesday.
The single-car crash was another setback for Woods, the preeminent golfer of his generation who has spent the last decade in a cycle of injuries, self-inflicted personal problems, and an arrest for DUI. Each time, he returned to the course and won.
Even at 45, Woods is among the more recognizable sports figures in the world and remains golf’s biggest draw.
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.
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 for 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.
His agent said Woods underwent surgery on his leg, and the injuries were described as serious. No charges were filed and police said there was no evidence he was impaired and no one else was injured.
Woods last played Dec. 20 in the PNC Championship in Orlando.
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Information taken from the Associated Press.