Golf may be one of the few sports in which a person isn't at high risk of suffering teeth damage. Yet for legendary pro golfer Tiger Woods, it wasn't a trip to the links that caused a couple of his teeth to get knocked out. Instead, Woods had two of his teeth damaged as he watched his girlfriend, pro skier Lindsey Vonn, compete in Italy. Vonn won the Super-G at Cortina d'Ampezzo, breaking the record for all-time World Cup victories in the process. Tiger, her boyfriend of two years, showed up to surprise her and celebrate her victory, according to People Magazine.
Woods attended the event incognito, wearing sunglasses and a skeleton bandana in order to blend in. As he approached Vonn, she was surrounded by several kneeling cameramen capturing footage of her historic victory. One cameraman rose from his knees and turned around quickly, planting his gear right into Tiger's mouth. One tooth, which had already endured a root canal, was severely chipped and a second tooth was badly cracked.
Woods told People that he used his bandana to contain the blood. He explained:
"I'm trying to keep this thing so the blood is not all over the place and luckily he hit the one I had the root canal on. That's the one that chipped but the other one had to be fixed as well, because it had cracks all through it ... In every sport you can get teeth knocked out. Unfortunately I wasn't actually competing."
Woods was promptly flown back to the U.S. for an emergency dental visit and his teeth were reportedly fixed by the next morning. He expressed frustration about the long flight home due to his mouth being in significant pain. His cracked tooth encountered some nerve exposure, which can be particularly painful.
A week later, Woods wasn't shy about smiling and showing off his repaired teeth during the Waste Management Phoenix Open in Arizona, his first golf appearance in 2015. How Tiger will fair this year is yet to be seen, but when speaking with The Guardian, Woods did say that he's been focusing on increasing his swing speed. Therefore, this year we may see Woods driving uncharacteristically far, and we can certainly expect an untarnished smile or two accompanied by his signature fist pump.