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Tiger Woods Pulls Out Of Masters Following Back Surgery

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Tiger Woods grimaces after playing a bunker shot on the fifth hole during the final round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 9, 2014 in Doral, Fla. (credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Tiger Woods grimaces after playing a bunker shot on the fifth hole during the final round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 9, 2014 in Doral, Fla. (credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

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AUGUSTA, Ga. (CBS Atlanta/AP) — Tiger Woods will not be teeing off at The Masters this month.

Woods underwent microdiscectomy surgery Monday to repair a pinched nerve in his back that has been bother him for 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 press release.

The four-time Masters champion will likely be out several weeks following the surgery. Woods hopes to get back on the course this summer.

“It’s tough right now, but I’m absolutely optimistic about the future,” Woods said. “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) and Jack (Nicklaus) reached their milestones over an entire career. I plan to have a lot of years left in mine.”

The 38-year-old Woods stopped playing in the final round at the Honda Classic on March 2 because of what he called back spasms and pain in his lower back. He tried to defend his title the following week at Doral, only for his back to flare up again in the final round, when he shot a 78, the highest Sunday score of his PGA Tour career and his first closing round without a birdie. Woods also withdrew from the Arnold Palmer Invitational because of persistent back pain.

“I’d like to express my disappointment to the Augusta National membership, staff, volunteers and patrons that I will not be at the Masters,” Woods said. “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.”

He continued: “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.”

This has been the longest sustained problem Woods has had with his lower back.

Woods has collected 14 majors during his 18-year career, and is currently four away from Nicklaus’ record of 18. Woods has played in every Masters since 1995.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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