Golf

Dustin Johnson pays tribute to Tiger Woods after car crash and draws comparison with Ben Hogan

Dustin Johnson hopes Tiger Woods can make a “Ben Hogan-style comeback” and return to golf after his serious car crash.

Woods underwent extensive surgery after suffering multiple leg injuries in a crash on the outskirts of Los Angeles on Tuesday, where the former world No 1 needed to be extricated from the wreck of his vehicle.

Hogan was involved in a near-fatal car crash in 1949 that led to doctors warning him he would never walk again, only for the American to defy medical opinion and go on to win six more major titles. Johnson hopes to see Woods able to get back playing on the PGA Tour.

“Hate to see the news about Tiger,” Johnson wrote on Twitter. “Wishing him a quick recovery and a Ben Hogan-style comeback. If anyone can do it, it’s TW.”

Johnson later told reporters ahead of the WGC-Workday Championship: “Obviously it’s a terrible situation, you never want anything bad to happen to people. Obviously hope for a speedy recovery.

Hate to see the news about Tiger. Wishing him a quick recovery and a Ben Hogan style comeback. If anyone can do it, it's TW.

“He’s such a big part of the PGA Tour and what it has become today. Once he is not playing anymore, definitely the game will miss him, but I feel like he’ll always somehow be around and involved with the game.”

Woods said on Sunday – two days before the incident – there was “no timetable” for his return to competitive golf as he continued to recover from his fifth back surgery, while Los Angeles police said the 15-time major champion was “lucky to be alive” after Tuesday’s car crash.

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan believes the golfing world will rally around the 45-year-old throughout his recovery, with Monahan also insisting it’s far too soon to talk about Woods’ PGA Tour future.

“I think that the only thing that really matters now is his wellbeing, his recovery, his family, the level of support that we provide to him,” Monahan said. “Listen, when Tiger wants to talk about golf, we’ll talk about golf, but I think right now the entirety of our efforts needs to be around the support.

“When you’re going to overcome what he needs to overcome, I think the love of all of our players and everybody out here, it’s going to come forward in a big way and across the entire sporting world.

“I think he’ll feel that energy and I think that’s what we should all focus on.”

Tributes and well wishes towards Woods continue to pour in on social media, with stars from sport, showbiz and entertainment among those wishing the 82-time PGA Tour winner a full recovery from the crash.

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