Tiger Woods to miss Masters

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New York, April 2 (IANS) American golf legend Tiger Woods announced that he will miss next week’s The Masters at the Augusta National Golf Club as he is not “physically ready” after a back surgery he underwent in late 2015.

“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,” Woods said in a statement on his website.

“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,” the 40-year-old said.

The 14-time major winner, who has slipped to 472nd in the world rankings did not clarify a time for his return to competition, but noted that he plans to attend the Champions Dinner next Tuesday.

“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,” he said.

Woods thanked fans for their “concern and support,” adding that the last few years “have been difficult.”

“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,” Woods concluded.

The Masters is the year’s first Major. It starts on Thursday.

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