Nov. 27, 2009— -- Professional golfer Tiger Woods was injured in a car crash outside his Windermere, Fla., home early this morning, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
The 33-year-old Woods was driving a 2009 Cadillac SUV alone when he hit a fire hydrant and then slammed into a tree at 2:25 a.m., according to police reports.
According to ABC affiliate WFTV, Windermere Police Chief Daniel Saylor said Woods' wife, Elin Nordegren, used a golf club to smash out the back window and get her husband out of the car.
She told officers she was in their house when she heard the accident and came outside.
Saylor told WFTV police officers found Woods lying in the street with his wife hovering over him. Saylor said Woods was in and out of consciousness when the officers arrived.
Reports of the accident put the golfing world on edge. The Highway Patrol put out a release Friday afternoon saying "Injuries: Serious." It said Woods was taken to Health Central Hospital in Ococee, Fla. But a spokesman for the highway patrol later said its reports always classify people's conditions as serious if they are taken to a hospital.
Woods' publicist, Glenn Greenspan, released a statement this afternoon: "Tiger Woods was in a minor car accident outside his home last night. He was admitted, treated and released today in good condition.'' The hospital, through Greenspan, later put out a similar version of the one-line release.
"There's no bigger name in sports than Tiger Woods and there are few names on earth bigger than Tiger Woods," said ABC News sports consultant and USA Today sports columnist Christine Brennan. "News like this hits and it reverberates like an earthquake in the world of sports."
Police said charges are "pending." They provided no details beyond their initial release.
Investigators said alcohol was not involved, but they did not know yet what caused the crash. The Associated Press reported that the vehicle's airbags did not deploy.
Officials said Woods pulled out of the driveway at his residence and began to drive on Deacon Circle when he struck the hydrant.
The superstar Woods reportedly owns a home in an exclusive subdivision called Isleworth, near Orlando. Orange County property records indicate his home is valued at $2.4 million.
Currently ranked the number-one golfer in the world, Woods was the highest paid professional athlete in 2008. He earned an estimated $110 million from winnings and endorsements
Woods had just won the Australian Masters over the weekend of Nov. 15 after he closed with a four-under-par 68, beating Greg Chalmers by two shots, according to the Tiger Woods Foundation.
It was Woods' seventh victory worldwide in 2009 and his first in Australia.
Woods has been one of golf's great success stories. His personal biography says he has won 93 tournaments, 71 of them on the PGA Tour. He won the Masters Tournament four times, the PGA Championship four times, and three Open Championships.
No other active golfer has as many career victories. No other golfer has won as much money.
Woods learned to play golf as a child and his father Earl served as his mentor and teacher.
Woods Won 14 Major Tournaments
Woods studied at Stanford University, and won a number of amateur U.S. golf titles before turning professional in 1996. He shot to fame after winning the Masters Tournament at Augusta in 1997 with a record score of 270. At the age of 21, he was the youngest golfer ever to earn the title.
He is the only child of an African-American Army-officer father and a Thai mother. Born Eldrick Tont Woods, according to Biography.com, he was called "Tiger" by his father in honor of a fellow soldier.