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Tiger Woods will skip Arnold Palmer Invitational, hopes to play Masters

Tiger Woods says he will skip Arnold Palmer Invitational but hopes to play the Masters

Tiger Woods' self-imposed exile will continue through next week's Arnold Palmer Invitational, but the former No. 1 golfer in the world is aiming to play in the Masters.

"I've put in a lot of time and work on my game and I'm making strides, but like I've said, I won't return to the PGA TOUR until my game is tournament ready and I can compete at the highest level," Woods wrote in a statement on his website.

Woods said that he spoke with Palmer on Friday to offer his apologies for skipping a tournament he has won multiple times.

Back surgery caused Woods to miss much of last season. His comeback this year has been rocky, with a missed cut at the Phoenix Open and a withdrawal from the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in early February.

He has stayed off the PGA Tour since then.

"I hope to be ready for the Masters, and I will continue to work hard preparing for Augusta," he wrote.

Follow David Wharton on Twitter @LATimesWharton

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