Tiger to miss Masters


Tiger Woods has decided against playing The Masters due to his troublesome back injury.

The 14-time major champion has been out of action since the Wyndham Championship last year and required surgery again in late 2015.

Woods, four times a winner at Augusta, will miss the year's first major, which starts on Thursday.

"After assessing the present condition of my back, and consulting with my medical team, I've decided it's prudent to miss this year's Masters," he said.

"I've been hitting balls and training daily, but I'm not physically ready. I've said all along that this time I need to be cautious and do what's best for my long-term health and career.

"Unfortunately, playing Augusta next week wouldn't be the right decision. I'm absolutely making progress, and I'm really happy with how far I've come, but I still have no timetable to return to competitive golf.

"I'd like to express my disappointment to Billy Payne, the Augusta National membership, staff, volunteers and patrons that I won't be competing.

"It's a very important and special week to me, and it's upsetting to miss it. I do plan to attend the Champions Dinner and see a lot of old friends.

"I'd like to thank the fans for their concern and support. The last few years have been difficult, but I have the best fans anywhere, and I want them to know that."