Tiger Woods announced via Twitter and TigerWoods.com this morning that he will miss next week's Masters while he recovers from successful microdiscectomy surgery on a pinched nerve in his back.
"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. 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."
Woods has played in every Masters Tournament since 1995 when he finished 41st and won the low amateur title. Of his 19 appearances in the Masters, Woods has four victories and 13 top-10 finishes.
In a statement released on PGATour.com, Commissioner Tim Finchem wished Tiger well.
“Of course, we’re disappointed to hear that Tiger will be out of competition for a few months and will miss several big tournaments, but I’m sure no one is more disappointed than Tiger. I was pleased to hear that Tiger’s procedure to alleviate a pinched nerve was successful and that the long-term prognosis for his recovery is positive."
Jack Nicklaus, the man who Tiger is chasing in the record book, posted a response on nicklaus.com. Woods currently sits four majors behind Jack's mark of 18.
“I am sorry to hear that Tiger will miss the Masters Tournament. I know Tiger has been working very hard to return to form, and as I have said many times, Tiger has a lot of years of good golf ahead of him. I hate to see him robbed of some of that time by injury. But we all know he is doing what is in the best interest of his health and future. I wish him well on a speedy recovery.”
On his website, Woods added: "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."
Sad to say I’m missing the Masters. Thanks to the fans for so many kind wishes. http://t.co/Ofbre9VHEL
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) April 1, 2014
The surgery, reportedly performed by neurosurgeon Charles Rich in Park City, Utah, is a minimally invasive procedure designed to relieve the pressure and pain caused by a herniated disc. Recovery can take several weeks and doctors recommend that patients avoid twisting and bending the back until they have completely recovered.
In a series of tweets from @AUG_Masters, chairman of Augusta National Golf Club Billy Payne thanked Woods for keeping the club informed of his condition and wished him a speedy recovery.
"Tiger was gracious in keeping us updated of his condition and making us aware of his decision. We wholeheartedly offered our best wishes for his immediate and long-term recovery. Tiger will be in our thoughts and will be missed by our patrons and all of us at the Masters Tournament next week. He is one of our most decorated champions and we look forward to his healthy return in 2015 and beyond."PHOTO GALLERY: Tiger Woods breaking down
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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