Tiger Woods is a celebrity whose popularity transcends the game that he has utterly dominated since turning professional in the late summer of 1996. Winner of 14 majors and 82 tournaments around the world, had run his car into a hydrant just off his driveway, and that the car then hit a tree. His wife Elin heard the accident from inside the house and, with a golf club, bashed in a rear window of the Cadillac SUV to free him.

Elin Nordegren, “explained to my officers that the doors were locked and she could not gain entry” into the crashed vehicle, so she “used a golf club” to smash a window.

Police were on the scene within a couple of minutes and found Woods slipping in and out of consciousness, with blood in his mouth. He was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, treated for facial lacerations and released. The accident was first reported as “serious” and then as “minor.” There was no mention of the accident until 12 hours after it occurred. Alcohol was not a factor. Police are continuing to investigate.

Given that Woods was released quickly – and it goes without saying that is great news for him and his wife and their two young children, daughter Sam and son Charlie, not to mention the golf world – one can only assume he will be able to resume his tournament play soon. Just how soon remains to be seen. Woods will play host to the Chevron World Challenge at the Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif., which starts Thursday with a limited, invitation-only field that will include Canada’s Mike Weir. Steinberg said he did not know if Woods will play in the tournament.