Tiger Woods announced on Tuesday that he will miss the Masters golf tournament for the first time since he has become a professional. This was not an April Fool’s joke.
“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 a statement on his website. “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.”
Woods said he underwent surgery in Park City, Utah on Monday that requires “rest and rehabilitation for the next several weeks.”
“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 said.
According to Woods, he will “begin intensive rehabilitation and soft-tissue treatment within a week” and the goal is to “resume playing sometime this summer.”
“It’s tough right now, but I’m absolutely optimistic about the future,” Woods 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.”
The Masters, which begins a week from Thursday, has had a storied history with Woods as its signature draw.
Woods has 14 majors and is pursuing his lifelong goal of breaking Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18 majors. He won his first Green Jacket in 1997 when he shot a record 18-under par and won by 12 strokes. He seemed to be on his way for a fifth Green Jacket last year before his approach shot on the par-5 15th hole during the second round hit the flag stick and went into the water. He almost then got disqualified from the tournament after his improper ball drop and the controversy surrounding it followed him for months.
As a testament to how serious his injury may be, Woods won the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines — his last major — on a broken leg in 2008. So it is rare for him to sit out a tournament as significant as the Masters with an injury.
Sad to say I’m missing the Masters. Thanks to the fans for so many kind wishes. http://t.co/Ofbre9VHEL
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) April 1, 2014