Woods to miss Masters for first time in career after back surgery

Johannesburg, Apr 2: World number one Tiger Woods has announced that he will miss the upcoming Masters golf tournament for the first time in his career after undergoing back surgery earlier this week to treat a pinched nerve that has been troubling him for several months.

It will be the first time that the 14-time Major winner has missed golf’s premier tournament, which starts on Thursday for the 78th time, since he made his debut at Augusta National in Georgia as an amateur in 1995.

According to Sport24, the American, who is chasing the all-time record 18 majors won by Jack Nicklaus, announced on Twitter and his website that he is sad to pull out of the Masters and thanked his fans for their wishes.

The report mentioned that the golfer will require several weeks rehabilitation, with doctors estimating he could be chipping and putting again in three weeks, and playing again sometime this summer in time for the US and British Opens.

Woods further said in a statement that he decided, in consultation with his doctors, to have the surgery done after failing to make the necessary progress while attempting to get ready for the Masters, adding that he may also be forced to miss several upcoming tournaments to focus on his rehabilitation and getting healthy.

However, Woods, who has had a succession of crippling injuries over the last few years to his knees, wrists and now back, expressed optimism over his future and hoped to break the records of Nicklaus and Sam Snead, won a record 82 PGA Tour events.

Woods has played in every Masters since 1995 and has become the tournament’s star turn and biggest draw, although the following year, he missed his only cut at Augusta National just a few months prior to turning professional, the report added. (ANI)