Tiger Woods to miss Masters after surgery

Tiger Woods will miss the 2014 Masters after undergoing back surgery, he announced via his website Tuesday, April 1.

Tiger Woods will miss next week's Masters after undergoing surgery to correct a pinched nerve in his back, he said today on his website.

Woods also tweeted the news:

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

It was no April Fools' Day joke, Woods' agent, Mark Steinberg, confirmed in an email to Golfweek. "The report is accurate," he said without elaborating.

Woods will require rehabilitation and rest for several weeks after the surgery, described as a microdiscectomy, that was performed March 31 in Utah by Dr. Charles Rich, according to the post on TigerWoods.com.

"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, adding apologies to tournament organizers at Augusta National as well as patrons and fans before addressing his own disappointment. ". . . This is frustrating, but it's something my doctors advised me to do for my immediate and long-term health."

Billy Payne, chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament, released a statement: “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.”

Tour pros, other notables react quickly via Twitter.

According to WebMD.com, in a microdiscectomy herniated-disk material that is pressing on a nerve root is removed with the aid of a special microscope to view the disk and nerves. The small incision typically causes less damage to surrounding tissue.

Woods has played only 10 rounds this year on the PGA Tour, with his best finish a tie for 25th in the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral in early March. Two weeks later, he withdrew from the Arnold Palmer Invitational, which he has won eight times, citing a back injury.

Woods, 38, has won 14 major championships but none since his thrilling playoff victory against Rocco Mediate in the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. Jack Nicklaus holds the all-time major-championship record, with 18 titles. Woods, with 79 career Tour victories, trails only Sam Snead's 82.

Nicklaus released a statement via his website: “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.”

Woods hopes to play again "sometime this summer," according to his website. That timeline could affect the June 12-15 U.S. Open and perhaps the July 17-20 Open Championship.

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