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Woods to miss Masters, recovering from surgery

Tiger Woods will not play in the 2014 Masters next week following surgery to alleviate a pinched nerve in his back Monday that will sideline the world’s No. 1 golfer until “sometime this summer.”

“Sad to say I’m missing the Masters. Thanks to the fans for so many kind wishes,” Woods announced Tuesday on his website,

Woods, 38, underwent a micro discectomy for a pinched nerve that has been hurting him for several months.

“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 said Tuesday. “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.

“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.”

The Masters is the only major tournament Woods has not missed in his career. He won four of his 14 major championships at Augusta National. His first came in 1997 and he last won it in 2005.

Woods, who is having his worst year since joining the PGA Tour 18 years ago, struggled with back spasms throughout March. He dropped out during the final round of the Honda Classic on March 2 because of back pain. His back flared up on him again the following week in the final round at Doral, in which he shot a 78 — the highest Sunday score of his PGA Tour career.

Woods said he could have done more damage playing through the injury, which could be irritated by the repetitive torque of his golf swing. By having surgery, Woods believes he will prolong his career — and the chase for the prestigious win marks held by Sam Snead and Jack Nicklaus.

“It’s tough right now, but I’m absolutely optimistic about the future,” Woods said. “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.