Tiger Woods has today confirmed he will miss The Masters after having surgery on a pinched nerve in his back.
The four-time winner at Augusta has been struggling with back spasms and withdrew from the Arnold Palmer Invitational recently.
There has been much speculation about his involvement at this years Masters but Woods has ended that with the worst news possible, he will miss out on the famous tournament for the first time in his professional career.
"This is frustrating, but it's something my doctors advised me to do for my immediate and long-term health," said the 38-year-old American.
"It also looks like I'll be forced to miss several upcoming tournaments to focus on my rehabilitation."
Woods won his first Green Jacker in 1997 and triumphs followed in 2001, 2002 and 2005.
The 14-time major winner was hoping surgery would be successful meaning he could compete at Augusta, even if not quite at 100%. However, a statement released on his website announced news to the contrary this afternoon.
The statement said that the surgery was a success but he failed to "make necessary progress." With Augusta starting on April 10 the statement conceded that Woods still needs to rest for the "next several weeks."
"I'd like to express my disappointment to the Augusta National membership, staff, volunteers and patrons that I will not be at the Masters," Woods said.
"It's a week that's very special to me," he added.
Woods hasn't missed a Masters since making his debut as an amateur in 1995.
He will not be able to add his 14 Major crowns until later this year at the earliest, in his pursuit of Jack Nicklaus' 18 major titles.
He also trails Sam Sneadfor another major record, three short of a total haul of 82 PGA titles compared to Woods's total of 79.
"It's tough right now, but I'm absolutely optimistic about the future," said Woods.
"There are a couple of records by two outstanding individuals and players that I hope one day to break.
"As I've said many times, Sam and Jack reached their milestones over an entire career. I plan to have a lot of years left in mine."
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