Woods to miss Masters after back surgery
By Julian Linden
(Reuters) - Tiger Woods announced on Tuesday he would miss next week's Masters after undergoing back surgery for a pinched nerve that has troubled him for months.
The world number one pulled out of his traditional Masters warm-up event in Florida last month and released a statement on his website on Tuesday saying he was withdrawing from the first major of 2014, starting at Augusta National on April 10.
"After attempting to get ready for the Masters, and failing to make the necessary progress, I decided, in consultation with my doctors, to have this procedure done," said Woods.
"I'd like to express my disappointment to the Augusta National membership, staff, volunteers and patrons that I will not be at the Masters.
"It's a week that's very special to me. It also looks like I'll be forced to miss several upcoming tournaments to focus on my rehabilitation and getting healthy."
Woods won the Masters four times, in 1997, 2001, 2002 and 2005, and had never missed the event since he made his debut at Augusta National as an amateur in 1995.
"Tiger was gracious in keeping us updated of his condition and making us aware of his decision," Billy Payne, the Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament, said in a statement.
"We wholeheartedly offered our best wishes for his immediate and long-term recovery. Tiger will be in our thoughts and will be missed by our patrons and all of us at the Masters Tournament next week. Continued...