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Tiger Woods out of US Masters after undergoing back surgery

Four-time US Masters champion and world number one Tiger Woods will miss this year’s tournament after undergoing back surgery.

Woods, 38, was third-favourite with Coral at 10/1 for the Augusta based event before pulling out. A pinched nerve has been causing him discomfort over the last several months.

“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 in a statement on his official website.

“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.”

Woods has 14 majors to his name, and is chasing the record of 18 set by compatriot and iconic golfer Jack Nicklaus. Breaking this remains his goal.

“It’s tough right now, but I’m absolutely optimistic about the future. 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 [Snead, who won 82 PGA tour titles] and Jack reached their milestones over an entire career. I plan to have a lot of years left in mine.”

Woods last won this prestigious tournament in 2005, and has not been crowned champion at a major since the US open in 2008.

Rory McIlroy, US Masters champion in 2011, is the 7/1 favourite to claim this year’s edition with Coral, ahead of 2013 victor Adam Scott (8/1) and Phil Mickelson (14/1). Bubba Watson, winner in 2012, is a 22/1 shot.