Tiger Woods: Jack Nicklaus insists Woods still has 'a lot of years' ahead of him after forced withdrawal from the Masters

The world number one will not play at Augusta

Jack Nicklaus believes Tiger Woods has “a lot of years” of good golf ahead of him after the world number one announced he will miss the US Masters for the first time in his career following back surgery.

Woods said on Tuesday he had undergone successful microdiscectomy surgery on a pinched nerve after being advised to do so for his "immediate and long-term health".

The 38-year-old was unable to put an exact timescale on his recovery, but stressed he was still intent on surpassing Nicklaus' record of 18 major titles when he returns to action. Woods won the last of his 14 majors in the 2008 US Open, after which he required season-ending knee surgery.

In a statement on his website, Nicklaus wrote: "I am sorry to hear that Tiger will miss the Masters Tournament. I know Tiger has been working very hard to return to form, and as I have said many times, Tiger has a lot of years of good golf ahead of him.

"I hate to see him robbed of some of that time by injury. But we all know he is doing what is in the best interests of his health and future. I wish him well on a speedy recovery."

Woods has been struggling with back problems all season, withdrawing with just five holes of the Honda Classic remaining last month and missing the defence of his Arnold Palmer Invitational title.

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."

The statement added that Woods would begin intensive rehabilitation and soft-tissue treatment within a week and could start chipping and putting in three weeks.

"It's tough right now, but I'm absolutely optimistic about the future," Woods added. "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."

Woods has won 79 PGA Tour titles compared to Snead's 82, the last of which came in the Bridgestone Invitational in August.

Woods has played in the Masters every year since since his debut as an amateur in 1995. The last of his four green jackets was won in 2005, since when he has recorded seven top-six finishes in eight appearances.

Last year he finished fourth after being handed a two-shot penalty for taking an incorrect drop on the 15th hole of his second round.

PA

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam