Tiger Woods thanks fans, fellow golfers for support

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Tonya Pendleton
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The golf legend posted his gratitude via his Twitter account after severely injuring his leg in a recent car accident

Golf icon Tiger Woods is thankful for the support he received after sustaining a horrific leg injury in a recent car accident in California. On his social media account Monday, Woods said he was gratified by the waves of well-wishes he’s received, including a recent tribute from fellow golfers.

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As reported by CBS News pro golfers at this weekend’s WGC-Workday championship in Bradenton, Florida wore Wood’s traditional black and red outfit Sunday colors during the final rounds of the tournament. Woods said he was moved by the gesture.

“It is hard to explain how touching today was when I turned on the tv and saw all the red shirts,” he said. “To every golfer and every fan, you are truly helping me get through this tough time.”

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Japanese-American golfer Collin Morikawa won the tournament, making him the only other golfer aside from Woods to win a major championship and the WGC before age 25. Though he said he didn’t get a red shirt in time, he wanted to make sure Woods knew he was thinking of him.

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Woods is recovering from “multiple fractures” to his lower right leg after sustaining the injury in a rollover car accident last Tuesday in Southern California. He was driving a 2021 Genesis GV80 in Rancho Palos Verdes on his way to a golf exhibition when he veered across a median on Hawthorne Boulevard and crashed into a ditch.

Woods’ first words come after he was moved from Harbor-UCLA Medical Center to Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles for “further care” and additional procedures on his leg, per ESPN. The hospital’s Sports Medicine Institute is among the leaders in the care of athletic injuries.

It has been speculated that Woods fell asleep at the wheel during the early-morning accident. Forensic experts told USA Today that the lower leg injuries were consistent with braking too late to avoid a crash.

“To me, this is like a classic case of falling asleep behind the wheel, because the road curves and his vehicle goes straight,” Jonathan Cherney, who is an expert witness in auto accident-related court cases, told USA Today. Cherney provided his analysis after actually going to the site.

“It’s a drift off the road, almost like he was either unconscious, suffering from a medical episode or fell asleep and didn’t wake up until he was off the road and that’s where the brake application came in,” Cherney said.

Tiger Woods Injured In Rollover Car Crash
The car that golf legend Tiger Woods was driving on Feb. 23, 2021 is removed from the scene in Rolling Hills Estates, California. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

Another forensic expert agreed, saying that Woods did not correctly anticpate the curve as the car was going straight when it went into the median.

“My feeling is that speed wasn’t that much of an issue,” Felix Lee of the Expert Institute, who also provides information in car accident cases, told USA Today. “It was just some kind of inattention that caused the curb strike.”

In 2017, Woods was arrested in Florida after he was seen asleep at the wheel of his car. At that time, a toxicology report revealed that he had multiple prescription drugs in his system including the sleep aid Ambien, painkillers Vicodin and Dilaudid, and the anti-anxiety drug Xanax, as well as THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

Though Woods’ latest crash was initially called an “accident” by Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, an investigation is still ongoing as to the exact cause. Villanueva said that Woods was alert at the scene but unaware of the severity of the injury he’d sustained.

Woods was already recovering from back surgery at the time of the crash. In 2019, he recorded a triumphant fifth Masters Golf Tournament come from behind victory but his future in golf is unknown. He was the tournament’s youngest winner ever in 1997 at age 21.

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In a two-part HBO documentary, Tiger, that started airing last month, Woods’ success, as directed by his father Earl Woods, is examined and a complex picture of the groundbreaking golfer emerges. From his relationship with his father who died in 2006 to the infidelity scandal in 2009 that also began with a car crash and broke up his marriage, Woods’ life offers a cautionary tale for kids who are relentlessly pushed to success.

“I mean, you can’t help but feel for a guy,” the documentary’s co-director Matthew Hamachek told CNN, “who was thrust into the national spotlight at the age of two.”

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