A year after the horrific car crash that brought their genteel Los Angeles suburb to world attention, all is quiet again on Hawthorne Boulevard in Rolling Springs.
The welcome sign, so inappropriately uprooted when Tiger Woods’ SUV crossed the central reservation and rolled down the waterfront, has been replaced. The ad, pinned to the tree, advertises the upcoming celebrity sports memorabilia auction, an ironic anniversary postscript to the celebrity sports wreckage scattered throughout this pristine area on that fateful February day.
Perfect for a Hollywood Sabbath, the postcard showed one or two residents walking their dogs and one or two tending their gardens. “You can easily see where it happened,” one of them said.
A year after the car crash, Tiger Woods will return to Los Angeles for the Genesis Invitational.
“When you pass the ravine, just look for the poor cactus.” Badly hit by Tiger’s runaway car, he is indeed in a bad state, his limbs suffering like those of a man who had to be carved from the wreckage of his luxury luxury car.
Tiger returned to the city of angels this week as the host of the Genesis Invitational. It was the legendary event where he made his PGA Tour debut 30 years ago at the age of 16, and which will now always be inextricably linked to what happened the morning after Max Homa hit the game-winning shot in 2021.
Woods did not play at the Riviera last year as he was looking to overcome more back problems. On Monday, he left early to finish his sponsor day at another Los Angeles golf club.
He was late when he entered Hawthorne Boulevard and, according to a subsequent police report, was driving too fast. One local sheriff said he may have been traveling at 87 mph, more than double the legal limit. At that speed, he certainly wouldn’t have had time to notice the yellow warning signs scattered all over the road as it descends a steep descent.
A 46-year-old man had to be cut out of the rubble after his escaped SUV crashed into a tree.
Drive along it as it connects wealthy locals to the central arteries of city life and you can imagine how it all could unfold. Of course, if you are racing recklessly, it will only take a momentary loss of concentration.
As Woods admitted a few months later, he was very lucky that a terrible series of events did not cost him his life. We still don’t know if it will cost him what’s left of his career, a question that has always seemed to be a secondary consideration for much of the past 12 months when it’s placed next to more primary considerations like whether he can walk again.
It was in December that he made his first public appearance, at a year-end special event he hosts in the Bahamas, where he detailed in graphic terms the months he couldn’t get out of his bedroom, followed by a painful rehab
He admitted he wasn’t sure if he was willing to go through what it would take to get his game back to the elite level, even if he gets a thumbs up from the doctors that his crippled right foot will do the trick.
The 15-time world champion is expected to speak about his plans for the future.
Two weeks later, there were more encouraging signs when he took part in a fun parent-child show in Florida with his son Charlie. There was enough evidence that his good shots were still profitable, but there were many other signs of the difficult road that still lay ahead of him. He couldn’t go more than a hole without a lot of pain, let alone 72 holes in four days, and Tiger made it clear that there was no circumstance under which he would consider entering a major or PGA Tour tournament while riding a cart. even if special permission is given. “I’m not like that,” he said.
Nine weeks later on the Riviera over the next few days we should get an update and a solid indication of whether his clear desire to play at the 150th St Andrews Open in July is possible.
This is a clear sign of the respect with which the 15-time world champion holds this generation, gathered this week by all participants in the world’s top ten. You will probably have to go back to the golden days of this event in the 1950s and 60s, when it was known as the Los Angeles Open and was actually owned by Ben Hogan, who also nearly died in a car accident, to find the last time it was happened.
Some of his friends, like Justin Thomas, will know what’s going on with Tiger. But a year after the car crash that shook the globe, most will experience the same mixture of anticipation and anxiety as everyone else, waiting for a progress report.
It’s a wild rider in Texas
No golf event has suffered more than the WM Phoenix Open due to a lack of fans. They returned last week, all 800,000 people, to show off their usual exotic kaleidoscope of color and enthusiasm that makes this tournament one of a kind.
If you haven’t seen the social media video of what happened after the beautifully named Sam Ryder got a hole in one place at 16th par three where over 100,000 fans went crazy in the stadium throwing their beer cans at earth. green, be sure to do it.
It’s not golf as the other Samuel Ryder knew it, but that doesn’t make it worse.
Thousands of fans threw their drinks into the air after Ryder plugged a hole in one, leading one reporter to joke about the rain delay.
The tournament, won by Ryder Cup star Scotty Scheffler, was also a party for the exciting 24-year-old Californian Sahit Tigala.
Playing on sponsor release, he led for three days before settling for a third-place tie with Olympic gold medalist Xander Schauffele and defending champion Brooks Kepka.
While all of these players boarded private jets to Los Angeles this week, Teegala, who still lives with his parents, has been driving his Volkswagen Passat for six hours. Sure, the wealth heading towards him will eventually corrupt him, but at the same time, he is an explosion of refreshing normality.