Tiger Woods: Masters too early for four-time champion's return

Woods won the last of his four Masters titles in 2005
The Masters, Augusta, 6-9 April
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Four-time champion Tiger Woods has confirmed he will not be fit for next week’s Masters and has not put a timetable on his return.

The American, 41, winner of 14 majors, has not played since withdrawing from the Dubai Desert Classic on 3 February with ongoing back spasms.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of his first Masters win and he said: “I did about everything I could to play.”

Woods also missed the 2014 and 2016 Masters tournaments because of injury.

He won the last of his 14 major titles at the US Open in June 2008 and has since had surgery on his knee and back.

After an absence of 17 months, he returned to action in December but missed the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open in January after shooting rounds of 76 and 72.

“My back rehabilitation didn’t allow me the time to get tournament ready,” Woods said in a statement on his website.