Tiger Woods Confirms Car Crash Spells the End of His Pro Career

Tiger Woods says Genesis rollover crash has put an end to his time as a pro golfer, and he's ok with it 51 photos
Photo: Instagram / Tiger Woods
In February 2021, Tiger Woods was at the wheel of a loaner car, on his way to a business meeting, when he lost control of the vehicle and, in a panic, mistook the accelerator for the brake. The car went off the road and down an embankment, and Woods suffered serious injuries to the legs.
It’s been less than a year since the crash, and Woods is still working hard at recovery. He spent weeks in the hospital undergoing several surgical interventions and then several months bedridden at home. Had it not been for the safety systems on the car, a Genesis GV80, he could have been killed or, at best, been more severely injured.

In his first extensive interview in months, and only the second since the terrible crash, Woods is finally discussing its aftermath and direct consequences. Though no stranger to injuries, Woods admits he is “not Wolverine” and that he can’t bounce right back from the kind of injuries he sustained. His time as a pro golfer has come to an end.

“I think something that is realistic is playing the tour one day—never full time, ever again—but pick and choose,” he says in a Zoom interview with Golf Digest. “Pick and choose a few events a year and you play around that. You practice around that, and you gear yourself up for that. I think that’s how I’m going to have to play it from now on. It’s an unfortunate reality, but it’s my reality. And I understand it, and I accept it.”

Acceptance did not come easy or without struggle. Woods recalls the weeks he spent looking out the window, wondering whether he would ever go out on his own, let alone pick a golf club. He also recalls being in the hospital and thinking he’d leave on just one leg because doctors would have to amputate the other.

The accident occurred in a hilly area of California and, according to the LAPD, was caused by speeding. Woods was not impaired or distracted, but he was traveling at twice the legal speed – and he mistook the acceleration pedal for the brake when he lost control of the vehicle. The SUV was damaged completely in the crash, requiring first-responders to use the jaws of life to get Woods out of it. His right leg was completely shattered, with bones poking through.

“It could’ve been worse” is hardly ever of any consolation, but in Woods’ case, the other alternative was truly dire. He was lucky to be wearing the seat belt and to be driving a car with 10 airbags inside, which cushioned him as the vehicle rolled over.

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Editor's note: Photos in the gallery show the Genesis GV80.

About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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