Tiger Woods decides to sit out another Masters

As has become a custom with all of Woods' other recent withdrawals since he pulled out after shooting a 77 in the first round in Dubai on February 2, Woods said he has "no timetable for my return".

Woods missed the 2014 and 2016 Masters through injury and it was hoped that he would finally make a successful return to golf, a sport which he used to dominate, this year.

Tiger Woods has confirmed he will not be playing in The Masters 20 years on from his maiden major triumph at Augusta National.

"I had played in a few pro events and major amateur titles, so I had been aware of what Tiger was achieving for some years as I was also competing in US Amateur championships and other big US amateur events like the Western Amateur. I did about everything I could to play, but my back rehabilitation didn't allow me the time to get tournament-ready", Woods said in a statement on his official website.

This is the 20-year anniversary of Woods winning his first Masters by a record 12 shots. Unusual and Wagner went on to win those respective tournaments, while McCallister settled for a third-place finish. Woods, a four-time Masters champion, last won at Augusta in 2005. He withdrew from the Genesis Open and the Honda Classic and couldn't play in the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, where he's won a record eight times.

Unfortunately for Woods, his Masters memories from next week will largely consist of attending the Champions Dinner. When asked whether Woods' withdrawal was a reflection of his back or his game, Steinberg said, "Probably some of both, to be honest".

Woods has played in 20 Masters, 18 as a professional.

But a crucial birdie at the 10th lifted his spirits and set the tone for a remarkable inward 30 which propelled him into outright fourth by the end of the day - just three behind early leader Jeff Huston.

Asked whether the chance for Woods to add to his tally is gone, Player replied: "Only God knows that".

Woods spent 15 months out after three back surgeries and was back on the PGA Tour in January, when he missed the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open. He said, "He just didn't feel he was ready..."

  • Julie Sanders