The last time The Masters was held without Tiger Woods in the field was 1994. That was the year that Woods started college, playing golf for Stanford.
For the first time since that 1994 PGA Tour season, The Masters will be without one of the biggest names in the game as Woods pulled out of the event Tuesday morning with continuing back problems.
The four time Masters winner and 14 time major winner has been battling some back issues as of late. He withdrew from the Honda Classic at PGA National in the final round a month ago and then withdrew from the Arnold Palmer Invitational after being in noticeable pain during the final round of the WGC Cadillac Championships at Doral.
Woods, a Jupiter Island resident planned on taking a few weeks off after Doral to rest and recover in an attempt to win his fifth green jacket. The pain continued to linger, and after consoling with his doctors, Tiger elected not to return to Augusta National in 2014, instead electing to have surgery.
Woods had surgery on a pinched nerve in his back. While successful, it will require several months of rehabilitation.
“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. “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.”
Not only was Woods looking to win his fifth green jacket, he was looking to win his first major since 2008 which would bring him one closer to Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 majors. He has been stuck on 14 since he won the U.S. Open in 2008.
While no return date has been set yet, Woods plans on returning to action sometime in the summer.
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