By Gary Anderson

April 1 - Tiger Woods will miss the US Masters for the first time in his career following back surgery this week ©Getty Images World number one Tiger Woods will miss the first golf major of the year after announcing that he has pulled out of the US Masters in Augusta next week due to a back injury.

The 14-time major winner underwent surgery on a pinched nerve yesterday and revealed on his website that he will not be playing at the event in Georgia for the first time in his career, where he made his debut as an amateur in 1995. 

"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 the statement.

"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."

He added: "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."

Woods has been plagued with back problems in recent weeks forcing him to pull out of a number of tournaments ©Getty Images Woods has been plagued with back problems in recent weeks forcing him to pull out of a number of tournaments ©Getty Images

Woods, who has won the US Masters on four occasions, with his last win coming in 2005, has been plagued by back problems in recent weeks and rumours that he would be forced to miss the event grew when he withdrew from last month's Honda Classic during the final round.

Woods then announced he would not be defending his Arnold Palmer Invitational title at Bay Hill in Florida as his back problems continued.

In 2008, he missed the The Open Championship and USPGA Championship after having reconstructive left knee surgery following his win at that year's US Open, his last triumph in a major.

He also missed the 2011 US Open and Open Championship because of an Achilles tendon injury he suffered during the 2011 Masters.

Chairman of the Augusta National Golf Club, Billy Payne said: "Tiger was gracious in keeping us updated of his condition and making us aware of his decision.

"We wholeheartedly offered our best wishes for his immediate and long-term recovery.

"Tiger will be in our thoughts and will be missed by our patrons and all of us at the Masters Tournament next week.

"He is one of our most decorated champions and we look forward to his healthy return in 2015 and beyond."

In what could be a further blow to organisers of the US Masters, world number five Phil Mickelson is also a major doubt for the event which is due to take place from April 10 to 13.

Three-time Masters champion Mickelson was forced to pull out of the Texas Open last week after he suffered a pulled oblique muscle in his side while hitting a drive on the 10th hole.

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