‘Shocked’ PGA Tour commissioner says support for Tiger Woods comes first

Nichole S. Gehr

BRADENTON, Fla. — A lot like the response of the players he prospects on the PGA Tour, commissioner Jay Monahan mentioned Wednesday that he had a tricky time processing the information that Tiger Woods experienced been severely hurt in a auto accident.

Monahan reported he was in his office environment at tour headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach front, Florida, when he obtained original phrase about Woods, who experienced substantial leg accidents in a a person-car crash Tuesday morning near the border of Rolling Hills Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes, about 30 miles south of downtown Los Angeles.

“I was shocked,” Monahan reported. “I variety of experienced to sit down and ask the identical dilemma I had asked a 2nd time for the reason that I was not positive I completely listened to what I was currently being instructed.”

As component of a statement on Woods’ formal Twitter account, Dr. Anish Mahajan of Harbor-UCLA Clinical Center current the famed golfer’s condition, stating in portion that Woods experienced multiple “open up fractures” to his reduce correct leg and experienced a rod placed in his tibia and screws and pins inserted in his foot and ankle during an crisis surgery.

Woods, 45, was “awake, responsive, and recovering in his hospital room,” according to a different component of the statement.

Monahan on Wednesday spoke to reporters at The Concession Golfing Club, website of this week’s WGC Workday Championship, and said he had been in touch with Woods’ agent, Mark Steinberg, but offered no facts.

“It was early on in the process when there was continue to a great deal of unknowns,” Monahan explained. “All I realized was that he experienced experienced a truly poor car or truck accident. … [Once] we started to recognize that, No. 1, most critical, he was going to be Ok and it was non-lifetime-threatening and, 2, he had critical injuries that wanted to be attended to.

“That is exactly where, for me — and I feel for a good deal of us — there was a period of time where we failed to know. You happen to be thinking a great deal of diverse matters, and some of them are pretty terrifying to believe about.”

Monahan admitted Tuesday was tricky, in particular with so a lot heading on. The coronavirus pandemic proceeds to be an impediment for the tour, which will hold its flagship celebration, the Players Championship, in two weeks. That event is where the golfing earth shut down a year ago, leading to a 13-week hiatus from events.

“I was up all night past night, and I couldn’t genuinely emphasis on anything at all else,” Monahan reported of Woods’ incident. “The only matter that truly matters now is his perfectly-being, his recovery, his family members, the stage of guidance that we provide to him.

“Pay attention, when Tiger desires to discuss about golfing, we will talk about golfing. But I feel suitable now the entirety of our efforts requirements to be close to the aid. When you happen to be going to conquer what he needs to get over, I believe the adore of all of our players and everybody out listed here, it truly is heading to arrive ahead in a huge way and throughout the complete sporting planet. I think he’ll feel that electricity, and I believe that’s what we should all concentration on. We will all be speaking about that at some position down the street, but not appropriate now.”

Rory McIlroy echoed Monahan’s sentiments.

“He’s not Superman,” McIlroy said of Woods. “He is a human currently being at the conclusion of the day. And he’s presently been through so significantly. At this phase, I assume anyone really should just be grateful that he is listed here, that he’s alive, that his young ones haven’t lost their dad. That’s the most essential matter. Golfing is so far from the equation correct now, it really is not even on the map at this level.”

McIlroy, along with Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler, got to know Woods far better when he was sidelined from the game because of to his 2017 spinal fusion surgical procedures. They observed what he went by, and the good story in his comeback.

“From hardly staying capable to stroll, to stand, to currently being in a position to get his match back into form,” McIlroy stated. “He received the Masters two yrs afterwards, in 2019. I do not think men and women to this day, people don’t recognize — a couple of us out in this article do, JT, Rickie, Dustin [Johnson] and myself, the fellas that are in Florida that have gotten a tiny little bit closer with him — the wrestle and the factors he experienced to deal with to get to that issue to earn Augusta in 2019.

“Search, I you should not want to choose anything at all absent from what Ben Hogan did just after his motor vehicle crash or any of the other comebacks that athletes have experienced in other sports, but ideal now I won’t be able to consider of any higher comeback in athletics than the journey that he built from that lunch we experienced in 2017 to winning the Masters a few years later.”

Requested what Woods suggests to everybody on the PGA Tour, Brooks Koepka summed it up.

“He suggests a lot to the gamers. He implies a good deal for the tour. He is the a single who provides the supporters. He is the full motive possibly 90% of us are out below playing,” Koepka informed ESPN. “The only explanation the sponsors are listed here is simply because of him. The tour — every thing they’ve carried out is in essence due to the fact of Tiger. Devoid of him our recreation is a very long way guiding. So, all the things we do is because of him.”

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