Tiger Woods was driving at twice the speed limit when he crashed an SUV in southern California leaving him seriously injured, authorities said.
The golfer was driving at 84-87 mph on a downhill stretch of road outside Los Angeles that had a speed limit of 45mph, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said on Wednesday.
The stretch of road is known for crashes and drivers hitting speeds so high that there is an emergency exit for runaway vehicles just beyond where Woods crashed.
Mr Villanueva blamed the February 23 crash solely on excessive speed and Woods’ loss of control behind the wheel.
Detectives did not seek search warrants for the athlete’s blood samples, which could have been screened for drugs or alcohol. Woods told deputies that he had not ingested medication or alcohol before the crash.
However, investigators did search the SUV’s data recorder, known as a black box, in the days after the crash.
Woods is in Florida recovering from several operations, including a lengthy procedure for shattered tibia and fibula bones in his lower right leg in multiple locations.
Those were stabilised with a rod in his tibia. Additional injuries to the bones in his foot and ankle required screws and pins.
Originally from the Los Angeles area, Woods had been back home in February to host his PGA tournament, the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club.
He was driving an SUV loaned to him by the tournament when he struck a raised median. The SUV crossed through two oncoming lanes and uprooted a tree.
Sheriff’s captain James Powers said there was no evidence that the golfer braked throughout the accident and that it is believed Woods inadvertently hit the accelerator instead of the brake pedal.
No traffic citations were issued, and the sheriff said Woods gave permission for authorities to reveal details about the crash.
Documents show that Woods told deputies he did not know how the crash occurred and did not remember driving.
At the time of the crash, Woods was recovering from a fifth back surgery, which took place two months earlier.
Woods, 45, has never gone an entire year without playing, dating back to his first PGA Tour event as a 16-year-old in high school. He had hoped to play this year in the Masters tournament, which begins on Thursday.
Rory McIlroy, a four-time major golf champion who lives near Woods in Florida, said he visited him on March 21.
“Spent a couple hours with him, which was nice. It was good to see him,” McIlroy said on Tuesday from the Masters. “It was good to see him in decent spirits. When you hear of these things and you look at the car and you see the crash, you think he’s going to be in a hospital bed for six months. But he was actually doing better than that.”