Tiger Woods will miss the Masters after undergoing surgery on his back yesterday.
It will be the first time since 1994 that the season’s opening major will tee off without four-time winner Woods in the field.
A statement on his website revealed that the world No.1 has undergone a successful microdiscectomy for a pinched nerve that ‘has been hurting him for several months’. The surgery was performed in Utah by neurosurgeon Dr. Charles Rich and will be followed by ‘rest and rehabilitation for the next several weeks.’
“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," Woods wrote on his website.
"I'd like to express my disappointment to the Augusta National membership, staff, volunteers and patrons that I will not be at the Masters," Tiger added. "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.
"It's tough right now, but I'm absolutely optimistic about the future" - Tiger Woods
"I'd also like to thank the fans for their support and concern. It's very kind and greatly appreciated. This is frustrating, but it's something my doctors advised me to do for my immediate and long-term health."
This latest injury setback for the 38-year-old is likely to intensify the debate over whether or not Tiger Woods will ever succeed in emulating – indeed, overtaking – Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major championship wins.
However, Woods – stuck on 14 victories since the 2008 US Open – remains upbeat on his prospects of passing both Nicklaus’ major haul and Sam Snead’s total PGA Tour wins record.
"It's tough right now, but I'm absolutely optimistic about the future," he added.. "There are a couple 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."
Tiger Woods: What now?
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