Tiger Woods’s golfing future has been the topic of much speculation this week after the American suffered “significant injuries” following a car crash in Los Angeles.
The 45-year-old was involved in a single vehicle accident on Tuesday and had to be “extricated from the wreck” by firefighters and paramedics.
The 15-time major champion remains in hospital in California but is “awake and responsive” after surgery. According to a statement posted on his Twitter account he suffered “comminuted open fractures to the upper and lower sections of his right leg along with significant trauma to his ankle”.
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Speaking ahead of the WGC-Workday Championship at The Concession in Florida, Rory McIlroy insisted that Woods surviving the crash outweighs the importance of returning to competitive golf in the future, Sky Sports reports.
“He’s a human being and has already been through so much,” the Northern Irishman said. “At this stage I think everyone should just be grateful that he is here, that he is alive and that his kids haven’t lost their dad.
“That’s the most important thing. Golf is so far from the equation right now, it is not even on the map at this point. He has been in a very bad accident and we are very lucky that he is still here. I feel like we should pay tribute to him every day for being on the PGA Tour and what he has done for golf.”
Should Woods’s professional golf career come to an end, McIlroy believes he has so much to offer in other areas of the sport.
“It’s inevitable that one day he won’t be a part of it, and that’s going to be just something that the game of golf and the Tour is going to have to deal with and adapt to,” McIlroy said.
“Obviously, hopefully he comes back and is able to play but if not, I think he’ll still be a part of the game in some way, whether it’s his design business, his foundation, 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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