Injured Woods out of Masters

Tiger Woods will miss the US Masters for the first time in his career after undergoing a procedure on a pinched nerve in his back.

The world number one pulled out of the Honda Classic earlier this season with back spasms and was unable to defend his Arnold Palmer Invitational title last month due to ongoing problems.

In a statement on his official website, four-time Masters champion Woods said: "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. 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.

"I'd also like to thank the fans for their support and concern. It's very kind and greatly appreciated. This is frustrating, but it's something my doctors advised me to do for my immediate and long-term health."