Tiger Woods will miss the Masters after undergoing surgery for a pinched nerve that has been hurting him for months.
The top-ranked golfer made the announcement on his website Tuesday morning, explaining he will need several weeks of rehabilitation.
"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," he said.
The microdiscectomy was performed Monday in Park City, Utah. Woods said the back surgery was successful and that, after beginning intensive physical therapy in coming days, he could be chipping and putting by the end of the month.
His goal is to return to competition by summer.
"I'd like to express my disappointment to the Augusta National membership, staff, volunteers and patrons that I will not be at the Masters," he said. "It's a week that's very special to me."
Back spasms have pestered Woods since last summer and forced him to withdraw from the recent Arnold Palmer Invitational.
"It's tough right now, but I'm absolutely optimistic about the future," he 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 and Jack reached their milestones over an entire career. I plan to have a lot of years left in mine."