Golfing champion Tiger Woods was hospitalized in Los Angeles late Tuesday U.S. time with severe leg injuries suffered when his car veered off a road and rolled down a steep hillside.

Rescue crews had to extract Woods from the wreckage, authorities said.

Authorities said there was no immediate evidence that Woods was impaired before a car crash in Los Angeles that seriously injured both of the golfer's legs.

At a news conference, the police chief and fire chief of Los Angeles County didn't answer follow-up questions on how they know he wasn't impaired or how fast he was driving. Weather was not a factor in the crash.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva and Fire Chief Daryl Osby say Woods was conscious and able to communicate when authorities arrived to extract him from an SUV after the rollover crash.

The injuries were not believed to be life-threatening, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva told a news conference.

Woods was conscious and "able to communicate" when rescue personnel arrived.

The sheriff said there was no evidence of impairment when Woods was assessed by emergency workers at the scene and that no blood samples were drawn by investigators after he was rushed by ambulance to the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.

Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby said Woods suffered serious injuries to both legs and that he was initially listed in serious but stable condition. CNN reported Woods sustained compound fractures to his legs.

Images from the crash scene showed Woods' dark gray Genesis sport utility vehicle badly crumpled and lying on its side near the bottom of the hillside and its windows smashed.

Woods, 45, was the sole occupant of the car when it crashed at about 7.12  a.m. Pacific time near the suburban communities of Rolling Hills Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes, the sheriff's department said.

"Tiger Woods was in a single-car accident this morning in California where he suffered multiple leg injuries. He is currently in surgery and we thank you for your privacy and support," Woods' agent Mark Steinberg said in a statement given to Golf Digest journalist Daniel Rapaport.

Villanueva said Woods' vehicle struck a tree and rolled over several times after swerving off the roadway and down the embankment.

The sheriff's department initially said a rescue tool known as "the Jaws of Life" was used to free Woods from the wreckage. Fire department officials later said emergency personnel pulled Woods from the vehicle through the front windshield after the glass was removed.

News that Woods, considered to be the greatest golfer of his generation, had been injured in a serious car wreck sent shockwaves through the sports world.

"Praying for my brother @TigerWoods as we all anxiously await more news," former baseball star Alex Rodriguez said on Twitter. "Thinking of him and his entire family."

"I am sick to my stomach," fellow PGA Tour golfer Justin Thomas said during a news conference in which he called Woods one of his closest friends. "I just hope he's all right."

Former Woods girlfriend, Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn, tweeted simply: "Praying for TW"

The PGA Tour issued a statement from Commissioner Jay Monahan. "We are awaiting further information when he comes out of surgery. On behalf of the PGA TOUR and our players, Tiger is in our prayers and will have our full support as he recovers."