CORTINA D'AMPEZZO, ITALY (REUTERS, AFP) - Tiger Woods lost a front tooth after being hit in the face by a video camera while watching girlfriend Lindsey Vonn take a record 63rd World Cup Alpine ski win in Italy on Monday, according to his agent.
The former world number one golfer surprised Vonn when he turned up in the resort of Cortina d'Ampezzo for the Super-G race but caused more of a stir when photographs showed a gap where his tooth had been.
"During a crush of photographers at the awards' podium at the World Cup event in Italy, a media member with a shoulder-mounted video camera pushed and surged towards the stage, turned and hit Tiger Woods in the mouth," the golfer's agent told USA Today.
"Woods's tooth was knocked out by the incident," added Mark Steinberg.
Woods, who was limited to nine tournaments last year due to back issues, said earlier this month that he will make his season debut at the Jan 29-Feb 1 Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Vonn, a four-time overall World Cup champion rewrote the record books when she beat Austrian Anna Fenninger (00.85s) and Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein (00.92) in the super-G for her 63rd World Cup success on the slope where she had first climbed a World Cup podium 11 years previously.
Missing tooth or not, she was glad that Woods was there to share in her special moment.
"To have Tiger here at this race on this occasion was really special for me," said the 30-year-old.
"It's amazing - words can't describe my feeling. 63 feels incredible," Vonn told the US Ski Federation website.
"I'm really proud of what I've done and I'm excited about the future. I definitely felt like the pressure was off today. I just wanted to go out and have a good run today. I was relaxed and cool and I think it showed in my skiing. I honestly didn't know if I would be fast enough. I made some mistakes. I was shocked I was in the lead but very, very happy."
Vonn, who also achieved a dream when she starred in the last episode of her favourite TV series Law and Order, said she hoped the landmark would earn the sport the attention she feels it deserves in the United States. It hosts the world championships in Vail, Colorado, next month.
"America is very record centric. Hopefully this will bring more attention to the sport," she said. "It will be good going into the world championships with more interest from the American public. I try to promote the sport - it's an amazing sport."