Donald Trump on Tuesday night said he was confident Tiger Woods would make a full recovery from his horrific car crash, saying the 45-year-old has ‘been back before, he’ll be back again.’
As messages of support poured in for the golf superstar, who on Tuesday was undergoing surgery on his legs and ankle at a Los Angeles hospital, the former president send his best wishes for a speedy recovery.
Donald Trump , in a statement through a spokesman, said of his one-time golfing buddy: ‘Get well soon, Tiger. You are a true champion!’ Above, Trump awards Woods the Medal of Freedom
Woods, 45, was the sole occupant of the dark gray Genesis sport utility vehicle when it crashed at about 7.12am near the suburban communities of Rolling Hills Estates
The two men, who both live in Florida, have played golf together several times, and Trump called Woods ‘a very special guy’.
‘He’s a very respected person, so respected by the other players,’ said Trump.
‘They idolize him.
‘He’s going to be back – he’s been back before, he’ll be back again. He knows how to do it and I have no doubt.
‘He’ll be back. He will be there, you watch.’
Woods’ condition was unclear on Tuesday night.
First responders who attended the crash scene shortly after 7am, south of Los Angeles, said that Woods was unable to walk after the accident.
His SUV was traveling at high speed when it hit the intersection along a highway known for its accidents. The vehicle crossed over the other carriageway and careered off the road, smashing into a tree and flipping several times. Woods was conscious after the crash but needed cutting out of the vehicle.
Tiger Woods of the U.S. on the 4th hole during the final round of the 2020 Masters
Asked what he would tell Woods, Trump replied: ‘I’d say get better, and get out there, because we all need him.
‘When he’s on a show, the ratings are double and triple. Few people have that phenomena.
‘Ratings go up two or three times from when he wasn’t competing. The television ratings for golf go through the roof.
‘He’s a very special guy in many ways.’
Trump was joined by others close to the golfing superstar in sending their wellwishes.
‘Praying for TW right now,’ wrote Olympic skiing gold medalist Lindsey Vonn, who dated Woods from 2013 to 2015.
‘Praying for my brother @TigerWoods as we all anxiously await more news,’ former baseball star Alex Rodriguez said on Twitter. ‘Thinking of him and his entire family.’
‘I am sick to my stomach,’ fellow PGA Tour golfer Justin Thomas said during a news conference where he called Woods one of his closest friends. ‘I just hope he´s alright.’
The PGA Tour issued a statement from Commissioner Jay Monahan. ‘We have been made aware of Tiger Woods’ car accident today,’ it said. ‘We are awaiting further information when he comes out of surgery. On behalf of the PGA TOUR and our players, Tiger is in our prayers and will have our full support as he recovers.’
Professional golfer Justin Rose tweeted that he had ‘just seen the awful news. We know how tough you are, we’ve seen it a hundred times. Hoping and praying you’re ok my friend.’
‘Heartbroken and shocked to hear about @TigerWoods accident today. My thoughts and prayers are with him for a full recovery,’ wrote fellow PGA Tour golfer Bryson DeChambeau.
‘Sending my thoughts and prayers to @TigerWoods. Get well soon champ,’ tweeted English Premier League footballer Gareth Bale.
Julian Edelman, the New England Patriots wide receiver, wrote: ‘Thinking of @TigerWoods this afternoon… prayers this is just the beginning of another major comeback.’
Tributes also poured in from outside the world of sports.
‘Prayers up for the GOAT @TigerWoods who was in an accident this morning. Was just with him yesterday. Don’t take not even a MOMENT for granted! I know you’re good because your Tiger within is a beast!!!’ tweeted singer and actress Jada Pinkett Smith.
‘Join me in praying for @TigerWoods as he was in a car accident in California this morning and is hospitalized,’ wrote evangelical Christian leader Franklin Graham.
Woods was the sole occupant of the dark gray Genesis sport utility vehicle when it crashed at about 7.12am near the suburban communities of Rolling Hills Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.
‘Tiger Woods was in a single-car accident this morning in California where he suffered multiple leg injuries. He is currently in surgery and we thank you for your privacy and support,’ Woods’ agent, Daniel Rapaport, said in a statement given to Golf Digest.
Video images of the scene showed the SUV resting on its side some 30 feet off the roadway, its front end badly damaged and surrounded by debris.
Woods, considered one of the greatest athletes in the history of his sport, had hosted the PGA tour’s annual Genesis Invitational at the Riviera Country Club over the weekend.
He did not compete, citing ongoing issues with his surgically-repaired back, but was seen at the Rolling Hills Country Club on Monday with actress Jada Pinkett Smith, former basketball star Dwayne Wade and comedian David Spade.
Woods underwent his fifth back surgery in December.
Woods has held the top spot in professional golf’s world rankings for a record total of 683 weeks, winning 14 major championship titles between 1997 and 2008.
After a series of injuries and personal issues derailed his career at times, Woods claimed his 15th major title at the Masters in 2019, his fifth time earning the coveted green jacket given to Masters champions.
Woods turned professional in 1996 and won his first U.S. Tour title in only his fifth start. Since then, he has virtually redefined the game.
His success on the greens transformed him into a worldwide superstar ushering in an era of multi-million dollar endorsements and lucrative appearance money and spread the sport to an audience far beyond its traditional image of male, white and middle-class.
Woods also served as a major influence on the modern generation of golfers such as Australian world No. 1 Jason Day, who has said he read a book about Woods and decided to copy the American’s high work ethic, spending hours and hours on the practice range.
His 15 Grand Slam titles stands second only to the record 18 majors won by Jack Nicklaus.