Tiger Woods was injured in a car accident early Friday when he lost control of his car outside his Florida house, and his wife smashed the back window of the car with a golf club, saying it was required to help him from the vehicle.
Local police said Woods had sustained cuts to his lips and was drifting in and out of consciousness while lying on the road when emergency services arrived on the scene.
The world's No. 1 golfer was treated and released from a hospital in good condition, his spokesman said. The Florida Highway Patrol said Woods' vehicle hit a fire hydrant and a tree in his neighbor's yard after he pulled out of his driveway at 2:25 a.m.
Windermere police chief Daniel Saylor told The Associated Press that officers found the 33-year-old lying in the street with his wife, Elin, hovering over him.
"She was frantic, upset," Saylor said in a briefing Friday night. "It was her husband laying on the ground."
"He was in and out of consciousness when my guys got there.
"He was mumbling, but didn't say anything coherent."
Woods' wife told officers she was in the house when she heard the accident and "came out and broke the back window with a golf club.". He said the front-door windows were not broken and that "the door was probably locked."
Asked at an evening news conference if the couple could have been arguing, Saylor said he had no knowledge of that. The couple, married five years, have two children.
The accident came two days after the National Enquirer published a story alleging that Woods had been seeing a New York night club hostess, and that they recently were together in Melbourne, where Woods competed in the Australian Masters.
The woman, Rachel Uchitel, denied having an affair with Woods when contacted by the AP.
"I resent my reputation is getting completely blasted in the media," she said during a telephone interview late Friday. "Everyone is assuming I came out and said this. This is not a story I have anything to do with."
Uchitel said she was in Melbourne two weeks ago with clients and never saw Woods the entire time she was there.
Patrol spokeswoman Sgt. Kim Montes said the accident was being investigated as a "traffic crash."
"We don't believe it is a domestic issue," she said.
The Florida Highway Patrol said alcohol was not involved, although the accident remains under investigation and charges could be filed.
The patrol said Woods was alone in his 2009 Cadillac when he pulled out of his driveway from his house at Isleworth, a gated waterfront community just outside Orlando.
Woods' injuries were described as serious in the patrol's report, though his spokesman, Glenn Greenspan, issued a statement that Woods was treated and released.
It was not known where Woods was going at that hour. Greenspan and agent Mark Steinberg said there would be no comment beyond the short statement of the accident posted on Woods' Web site.
Woods, coming off a two-week trip to China and Australia earlier this month, is host of the Chevron World Challenge in Thousand Oaks, California, which starts Thursday. He is scheduled to have his press conference Tuesday at Sherwood Country Club. Steinberg said he did not know if Woods planned to play next week.
The Florida Highway Patrol said tapes of the 911 call won't be released until they can be reviewed, probably Monday at the earliest.
The accident report was not released until nearly 12 hours after Woods was injured. Montes said the accident did not meet the criteria of a serious crash, and the FHP only put out a press release because of inquiries from local media.
Montes said the patrol reports injuries as serious if they require more than minor medical attention. Air bags in the car did not deploy.
Two troopers tried to talk to Woods on Friday evening, but his wife said he was sleeping and they agreed to come back Saturday, Montes said.
Damage to the front of Woods' SUV was described as "medium" by Saylor.
"Not real extensive, but not real light," he said.
Woods rarely faces such private scrutiny. Few other athletes have managed to keep their private lives so guarded, or have a circle of friends so airtight when it comes to life off the course.
His wife was awarded a $183,250 settlement and an apology from an Irish magazine that published a fake nude photo of her, and Woods received a $1.6 million settlement in a lawsuit against the builder of his yacht — named Privacy — for using his name and photos of the boat as promotional material.
Woods is approaching $100 million in career earnings on the PGA Tour, and Forbes magazine reported that combined with endorsements, appearance fees and golf course design, he has become the first athlete to top $1 billion.
Woods' $2.4 million home is part of an exclusive neighborhood, fortified with high brick walls and its own security force. It is home to business executives and other sports stars such as the NBA's Shaquille O'Neal.
Woods, who has won 14 majors, won six times this year after missing eight months recovering from reconstructive surgery on his left knee. Even though he failed to win a major, Woods said he considered this a successful year because he did not know how his knee would respond.