Tiger Woods rules out 2016 Masters return

We all knew it was coming but were secretly hoping it wouldn’t come to this, however multiple Masters champion Tiger Woods will officially not be teeing-up this Thursday at Augusta National.

Woods has simply not recovered sufficiently from two back surgeries to the point where he is ready to tee it up at the Masters.

Tiger Woods Tiger Woods (Credit: Anthony Powter)

It will be the second time in the past three years that the four-time champion has not played the Masters.

“After assessing the present condition of my back, and consulting with my medical team, I’ve decided it’s prudent to miss this year’s Masters,” Woods said on his website.

“I’ve been hitting balls and training daily, but I’m not physically ready. I’ve said all along that this time I need to be cautious and do what’s best for my long-term health and career.”

“Unfortunately, playing Augusta next week wouldn’t be the right decision.”

However Woods will be at Augusta National as he plans to attend the Champions Dinner on Tuesday night “and see a lot of friends.”

Masters champion Jordan Spieth has said he will serve Texas barbecue.

It will be the second social event in two months for Woods. He also showed up at the home of Jack Nicklaus in late February when Nicklaus hosted Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III, the vice captains (Woods is one of them) and prospective players.

Woods first missed the Masters in 2014 when he had back surgery one week earlier. He returned in June after the U.S. Open, took three more months off at the end of the year to get fit, and then ran into trouble with his back again last year.

He last competed at the Wyndham Championship last August where he finished 10th, only to announce one month later that he had a second back surgery, and then underwent a third back surgery on October 28th, leaving his future more uncertain than ever.

Woods’ statement on Friday night, however, indicated progress but without indicating how much or when he might return to the competition fairways.

“I’m absolutely making progress, and I’m really happy with how far I’ve come,” Woods said.

“But I still have no timetable to return to competitive golf.”