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Genesis GV80’s safety features may have saved Tiger Woods’ life

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The Genesis GV80 that Tiger Woods was driving at the time of his nasty California rollover crash is packed with a host of safety features that may have helped save the links legend’s life.

Woods, 45, suffered severe leg injuries in the Tuesday morning crash in Los Angeles County that left the luxury SUV — on loan from the luxury brand after Woods hosted the Genesis Invitational golf tournament over the weekend — a mangled wreck.

But, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said during a Tuesday evening press briefing, the outcome could have been far worse.

“The cabin of the vehicle was more or less intact, the front end was totally destroyed, the bumpers, everything was destroyed, airbags deployed all of that,” said Villanueva. “However, thankfully the interior was more or less intact, which kind of gave him the cushion to survive what otherwise would’ve been a fatal crash.” 

Woods' vehicle being towed after the accident on Feb. 23, 2021.
Tiger Woods’ vehicle being towed after the accident on Feb. 23, 2021.
EPA/ETIENNE LAURENT

The GV80, a new model and Genesis’ first SUV, has a base retail price of $48,900 and comes equipped with a slew of safety features, including a 10-airbag system.

“It uniquely features a centre airbag ready to activate between the two front seats, to help prevent collisions between passengers and subsequent impact injuries,” Genesis notes on its site. “For optimum impact reduction, there’s also a side curtain airbag that extends all the way back to the third row.”

Tiger Woods pictured on instagram next to the Genesis GV80 he was driving when he crashed.
Tiger Woods pictured on instagram next to the Genesis GV80 he was driving when he crashed.
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Woods was traveling alone at the time of the single-car accident.

The GV80 also has a blind-spot monitor with “collision-avoidance assist” technology, and a similar system in the rear for safety while reversing, according to Genesis.

The interior of a 2021 GV80 is shown.
The interior of a 2021 GV80 is shown.
Genesis via USA TODAY Network/Si

The ride additionally features a “driver attention warning” system that alerts motorists when a camera facing them detects that their focus may be drifting from the road.

A glowing review of the model in Car and Driver highlighted the GV80’s “semi-autonomous driving mode” that adapts over time to the owner’s typical driving style.

Tiger Woods' Genesis GV80 SUV after he crashed on February 23, 2021.
Tiger Woods’ Genesis GV80 SUV after he crashed on Feb. 23, 2021.
EPA/ETIENNE LAURENT

“It can learn how the owner drives and mimic that person’s driving style while in use,” said the review, which does note that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety are yet to release crash-test results for the relatively new model.

It was not immediately clear whether Woods had engaged the semi-autonomous driving system.

An image of the Genesis 2021 GV80, the same model that may have saved Tiger Woods' life.
An image of the Genesis 2021 GV80, the same model that may have saved Tiger Woods’ life.
Genesis via USA TODAY Network/Si

Authorities are yet to officially identify a cause in the crash, though Villanueva noted Tuesday that Woods was traveling “at a high rate of speed” when he lost control in a stretch known for accidents.

Video of Woods driving shortly before the crash, however, showed him traveling at a relaxed pace.

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Bulls’ Zach LaVine called cops on ‘obsessed’ fan at his home

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Zach LaVine had an unwanted visitor.

The Chicago Bulls star had to call the police after an “allegedly obsessed” woman showed up to his Chicago home and refused to leave on Thursday night, according to TMZ. 

The woman reportedly traveled from out of state, demanding to speak with the first-time All-Star, who was home at the time.

Police took her a local hospital for mental evaluation, and she has not been formally arrested or charged with a crime.

LaVine, 25, wrapped up first-half action with the Bulls on Wednesday and was drafted to Kevin Durant’s All-Star side for Sunday’s festivities in Atlanta.

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Blake Griffin a free agent after Pistons buyout

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Blake Griffin will be free to sign with the Nets or another interested NBA team after agreeing to a contract buyout with the Detroit Pistons.

The six-time All-Star forward “has interest from most of the NBA’s top playoff contenders and is expected to make a decision on his next team after conversations with prospective teams,” ESPN reported.

The Nets, Lakers, Heat, Warriors and Clippers – his former team — are among those that have expressed interest, according to the New York Times. ESPN.com added that the Blazers are interested

The 31-year-old Griffin hasn’t played since Feb. 12 while the Pistons attempted to trade him before the March 25 deadline, but they found no takers due to the remainder of his $36.6 million salary for this season and the $39 million he’s owed for 2021-22.

Blake Griffin was released by the Pistons on March 5, 2021
Blake Griffin was released by the Pistons on March 5, 2021
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Griffin is averaging a career-low 12.3 points and 5.2 rebounds in 20 games this season. He was dealt by the Clippers to Detroit in 2018, during the first season of a five-year extension worth $171 million.



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Broncos send a pretty strong warning to Drew Lock

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Drew Lock is no lock to remain the Denver Broncos’ starting quarterback in 2021.

General manager George Paton and coach Vic Fangio both said Thursday that the team expects to bring in competition for Lock, possibly with the ninth pick in the NFL Draft.

“Obviously we’re always looking to bring in players at all positions that can raise the level of competition, and the quarterback is no different in that regard,” Fangio said, according to the team’s website.

“Until we get or until Drew proves to be the next great quarterback, like the ones that the Denver franchise has been used to in years past or certain teams around the league … are used to, we’re going to always try and bring in competition. But I have confidence that Drew can continue to improve.”

Lock made 13 starts in 2020 and tied with Carson Wentz for the league lead with 15 interceptions. He finished 32nd in the league among qualifying quarterbacks with a 75.4 passer rating, ahead of only Dwayne Haskins, Wentz and Sam Darnold.

Drew Lock faces the Patriots on October 18, 2020.
Drew Lock faces the Patriots on October 18, 2020.
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“Very talented, was inconsistent at times, has a lot to work on,” Paton said Thursday. “But I’ve spoken with Drew, I see him every day. He’s here early. He’s working. He really wants to be great. And we’re always going to try to bring in competition at every position, and quarterback as well. But I like the track that Drew’s on.”

Lock, the Broncos’ second-round pick in 2019 out of Missouri, had started five games as a rookie, winning four of them. Denver went 4-9 with him as the starter last season.

“I’m confident that Drew’s going to continue to improve,” Fangio said. “Drew’s had a great offseason up to this point. There’s not a lot you can do, but he’s working hard on his own, coming over here and getting workouts, and I know he’s doing a lot at home by himself, watching video by himself. He’s got a good setup over there. And he’s doing anything and everything he can to improve, even in February and now in March.”

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