‘He was NOT drunk’: Police rule out alcohol in Tiger Woods’ horror crash as talk turns to star’s golfing future

Alcohol was not a factor in the horror crash which left golf icon Tiger Woods with multiple open leg fractures, the Los Angeles County Sheriff has said, as discussion turns to whether Woods can return from yet another setback.

“He was not drunk,” LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said on Wednesday during an Instagram Live stream. “We can throw that one out.”

Woods, 45, is recovering in hospital after having surgery on the injuries he sustained in a single-vehicle crash just south of Los Angeles on Tuesday.

Woods is believed to have struck the median on a highway in his Genesis SUV, veering across oncoming lanes and then hitting a curb and trees before rolling over and the vehicle coming to rest on its side.

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The damaged car driven by golfer Tiger Woods is towed away from the crash scene near Los Angeles, California, February 23, 2021.
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Woods is said to have suffered several "open fractures" to his lower right leg, and during emergency surgery had a rod inserted into his tibia and screws and pins put in his foot and ankle.

The 15-time Major was reported as being "awake, responsive, and recovering in his hospital room" in a statement issued by his team following the horror crash.

Local officials have pointed to the difficult downhill section of highway that Woods was traveling on at the time of the crash on Tuesday morning, around 30 miles south of downtown Los Angeles near the border of Rolling Hills Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes.  

Sheriff Villanueva added that the crash was “purely an accident” but that data had yet to be recovered from the 2021 Genesis GV80 midsize SUV that Woods was driving, which could help determine the speed at which the golf star was traveling.    

Woods is believed to have been on his way to play golf with NFL stars Drew Brees and Justin Herbert when the crash happened.

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Woods has suffered high-profile driving incidents in the past, being arrested on suspicion of DUI in May of 2017.

It was later revealed that the golfer had had a cocktail of strong painkillers and sleep and anxiety drugs in his system at the time of his arrest, which had caused his reckless driving.

Back in 2009, Woods crashed into a fire hydrant and tree near his home in Florida while reportedly fleeing his then-wife, Elin Nordegren, after a row about his infidelity.  

Referring to Woods’ past history of struggles with medication, CNN reporter Andy Scholes was forced to apologize after he said he was “not entirely surprised” by the star’s latest car crash, despite there being no indication of medication being a factor.

Elsewhere, discussion has turned to whether Woods can ever return from this latest setback given the seriousness of the injuries he sustained.

Woods has been tormented by golfing injuries in recent years – most notably in his back – although he defied the odds to win a remarkable US Masters title at Augusta in April 2019. That triumph came 14 years after his previous success at the event.

Speaking on Wednesday, four-time Major winner Rory McIlroy said Woods was “not Superman” but that he would still influence the game, regardless of whether he returns to play or not.

McIlroy was among those to comment on Woods' chances of returning. © USA Today Sports

“He’s a human being at the end of the day,” McIlroy said. “And he’s already been through so much. At this stage I think everyone should just be grateful that he’s here, that he’s alive, that his kids haven’t lost their dad...

“Obviously, hopefully, he comes back and is able to play, but if he’s not, I think he’ll still be a part of the game in some way, whether it’s obviously his design business and his foundation and hosting golf tournaments.

"It may be the end of seeing the genius at work with a club in his hand, but there’s still a lot of other ways that he can affect the game in a great way.”

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