Posted on: February 25, 2021 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

Fresh off of his fifth back surgery this past December, 45-year-old golf legend Tiger Woods was eyeing a return to the game in the very near future. With a smile on his face Sunday in a TV interview with Jim Nantz, and The Masters tournament quickly approaching, everything seemed to be going smoothly for Woods.

That is, until the world was struck by devastating news on Tuesday morning.

Ethan Holesha

Managing Editor

A one-car accident was reported about 30 miles south of Los Angeles and officials arrived on the scene at 7:18 a.m. PT. The driver of the vehicle was none other than Tiger Woods. 

“I was devastated,” said Moraine’s head golf coach Matthew Lovelace. “He was just on TV Sunday talking about how he’s getting his next MRI and that hopefully he’s going to play at The Masters. I was completely shocked.”

Woods suffered severe injuries to his leg and foot and has a long recovery ahead of him. Due to his age, he might be done for good. Regardless of the status of his playing future though, now would be a good time to reflect on all of the good that Woods has done for the sport of golf. 

Lovelace exemplifies the enormous influence Woods has had on young golfers over the years.

“He’s the whole reason I play golf, love golf, do everything with golf,” Lovelace said. “I graduated high school in 2000 and that’s when he had his best year. Kind of from there on I just loved the game.”

Lovelace admired Woods not only for his talent, but also for his approach to the game.

“The biggest thing is his work ethic and his mental game,” he said. “No matter what it was he saw it, he thought he was gonna do it, and then he pulled it off. Which is just incredible.”

Tiger Woods has gone through adversity before but has never experienced an accident like this (Credit: pgatour.com).

Though he did not grow up playing golf at the same time as Lovelace, freshman Moraine golfer Randy Miller feels similar to his coach about how much Woods means to their sport. 

“What he has done for the game has been nothing short of amazing,” says Miller. “When I was growing up I would look at videos of Tiger in his prime and how consistent he was. When he won at The Masters in 2019, it was very inspirational considering all the surgeries and off-the-course issues he had.”

Miller is hopeful for Woods to return to the game: “I believe that he will come back from this and be competitive within a year. I would have to see how the surgery went and the extent of his injuries to give you a better answer. But if he came back from a back fusion, I think he can come back from this.”

Tiger Woods vehicle shortly after his brutal accident (Credit: RINGO H.W. CHIU/AP).

Luckily at the crash site, Woods was alert and able to communicate with the officials. A pry bar and ax were used to remove the SUV’s windshield in order to pull Woods to safety.

Once at the hospital, Woods went into emergency surgery on his right leg. He was awake and responsive in his hospital room afterwards. He’s honestly just lucky to be alive after such a serious accident.

There was no evidence that Woods was under the influence, which is why the LA county sheriff ruled the crash as “purely an accident.” Oddly enough though, there were no signs of skid marks or braking anywhere on the road, so it is difficult to determine what the real cause of this incident was.

The car first struck a median, crossed into oncoming traffic, and flipped over multiple times before landing hundreds of feet away from the road. Dr. Anish Mahajan, the chief medical officer and interim CEO of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center said in a statement posted to Woods’ Twitter account, “Mr. Woods suffered significant orthopaedic injuries to his right lower extremity that were treated during emergency surgery by Orthopaedic specialists at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, a level 1 trauma center.” 

As fans, all we can do is hope for the best at this point.

The full statement regarding the car accident situation from Tiger Woods’ team on social media (Credit: Twitter @TigerWoods).

But regardless of what the future may hold for Woods, his play up to this point–with 11 years between major championships–has been nothing short of incredible. His 2019 win at The Masters capped off arguably the greatest comeback in the history of sports.

As always, all eyes have been on Woods wherever he has played in today’s world. And whether he returns to the game after this freak accident or not, we can thank Woods for single-handedly revolutionizing the game of golf and inspiring generations of fans–like Moraine’s Lovelace and Miller–to pick up clubs for the first time.