Tiger Woods’ wife used golf club to free him from SUV
The wife of the world’s No.1 golfer Tiger Woods used one of his tools -- a golf club -- to smash open a window of his crashed SUV and then pulled him out of the damaged vehicle after an early-morning accident Friday outside their Isleworth mansion.
By the time a Windermere police officer arrived about 2:25 a.m., Elin Nordegren Woods had dragged her husband out of his 2009 Cadillac Escalade. He was lying on the ground, dazed and bleeding from his lips and with blood in his mouth, Windermere Mayor Gary Bruhn said.
The crash knocked Tiger Woods, 33, unconscious for about six minutes, according to a call report compiled by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and obtained by the Orlando Sentinel. Bruhn said the golfer faded in and out of consciousness.
Windermere police Chief Daniel Saylor said that officers found Woods lying in the street with his wife hovering over him. “She was frantic, upset,” Saylor said in a briefing Friday night. She told officers she was in the house when she heard the accident and “came out and broke the back window with a golf club,” he said, adding that the front-door windows were not broken and that “the door was probably locked.”
“She supposedly got him out and laid him on the ground,” he said. “He was in and out of consciousness when my guys got there.”
Woods was conscious enough to speak, he said.
“He was mumbling but didn’t say anything coherent,” Saylor said.
Windermere officers administered first aid until medical personnel arrived. After treatment at the scene, Woods was transported to Health Central Hospital in Ocoee in “serious” condition, Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Kim Montes said. On his Web site, Woods said he was treated and released at Health Central.
Saylor said his responding officers did not hear anything about an alleged argument between Woods and his wife.
“Right now we believe this is a traffic crash. We don’t believe it is domestic issue,” patrol spokesman Sgt. Kim Montes said.
Woods’ Escalade received $5,000 to $8,000 worth of damage to the front bumper and grille, according to FHP. Its air bags did not deploy, which suggests the vehicle was traveling less than 33 mph.
Troopers from the FHP, which is investigating the crash, visited Woods’ $2.4 million mansion Friday evening, Montes said. Elin Nordegren Woods told troopers her husband was sleeping and asked that they return this morning.
Neither Woods nor his wife could be reached for comment. A woman who answered the door at the home would not answer questions.
A spokesman for Tiger Woods said he was released in “good” condition Friday. Troopers do not think alcohol was a factor in the crash. They do not know whether he was wearing a seat belt.
Woods was pulling out of his driveway and onto the 6300 block of Deacon Circle when his SUV smashed into a fire hydrant at the edge of his next-door neighbor’s property and scuffed a tree, Montes said.
Though the accident did not cause major property damage, “he suffered serious injuries,” Montes said. The investigation is ongoing, and charges may be pending.
FHP did not release information about the accident until 12 hours after it happened. Montes said that is not unusual because the accident was classified as minor. Troopers and other officials did not say where Tiger Woods was going when the crash took place.
At Isleworth Golf & Country Club, people who know the champion golfer wondered whether he had been en route to a workout.
“There’s some speculation [around the club] that since he doesn’t always sleep well, he might have been going to work out,” said PGA Tour golfer Lee Janzen, an Isleworth resident.
“Sometimes he gets up really early to work out in the clubhouse. It’s hard to tell at this point. He’s not the type to go out late and be irresponsible or anything like that,” Janzen said.
Isleworth is one of Orlando’s most exclusive communities. NBA stars Shaquille O’Neal and Grant Hill have homes there, as do pro golfers Charles Howell III, Mark O’Meara, Stuart Appleby and LPGA star Paula Creamer.
Woods is scheduled to host and play in the Chevron World Challenge on Thursday in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
By Friday afternoon, few signs remained of the crash. A security guard stood outside Woods’ home. A street barricade sat on Woods’ front lawn. It was atop a newly dug hole, presumably where the fire hydrant previously sat.
About 10 feet away, a footlong tire mark was visible in the neighbor’s yard near an oak with freshly damaged bark. That tree trunk had a few scuff marks but was largely undamaged.
Woods rose to fame after becoming the youngest player, at 21, to win the U.S. Masters at Augusta, just one year after turning pro.
With 71 wins, Woods is third in all-time PGA Tour victories and the only golfer to win four consecutive major championships: the U.S. Open, British Open, PGA Championship and the Masters in 2001.
Wood’s last major championship win came in the 2008 U.S. Open when he overcame an injured left knee.
Woods finished first on the PGA Tour six times in 2009. He has taken home more than $100 million in career earnings on the tour. Combined with his endorsement deals, that puts him on track to eclipse $1 billion in earnings for his career. This month, he reportedly was paid $3 million just to play in the Australian Open, which he won.
Woods is a California native and attended Stanford University but has made the Orlando area home for him, Elin, daughter Sam Alexis, 2, and son Charlie Axel, 9 months.
Sentinel staff writers Rene Stutzman, Jeremy Fowler, Amy L. Edwards and Shannon J. Owens contributed to this report. Information from The Associated Press also was used. Henry Pierson Curtis can be reached at email@example.com or 407-420-5257. Willoughby Mariano can be reached at 407-420-5171 or firstname.lastname@example.org.