US Masters: Back surgery rules Tiger Woods out of fifth Green Jacket bid

Tiger Woods will not be at next week's US Masters
Tiger Woods will not be at next week's US Masters

Four-time Masters champion Tiger Woods has undergone back surgery and will miss next week's first Major of the season at Augusta National. Mike Norman brings us the details and all the updated market changes following today's dramatic news...

"In Tiger's absence Rory McIlroy has shortened to 9.08/1 on the Exchange to claim his first Green Jacket next week, while defending champion Adam Scott is the now the clear second favourite at 11.010/1."


Tiger Woods' frustrating start to the season worsened today when he announced that he wouldn't be fit to play at the Masters following surgery on a pinched nerve in his back.

Matched at a low of 5.59/2 in his bid to win a fifth Green Jacket the world number one had originally hoped to be at Augusta despite withrawing from the Honda Classic, and then appearing to aggravate his injury at the WGC Cadillac Championship, early last month.

But Woods' recovery wasn't going as well as expected and following advice from his medical team decided to have the surgery now for the good of his "immediate and long-term health".

Woods - who has played at Augusta National for 19 consecutive years - first won the Masters Tournament in 1997 before further success in 2001, 2002, and 2005, plus seven further top-five finishes, elevated him to one of the greatest golfers ever to play at the famous Georgia venue.

But in recent years the 38-year-old has suffered serious injuries which, along with problems in his personal life, contributed to long periods of a loss in form. Woods last tasted Major success in 2008 when winning the US Open at Torrey Pines.

Following today's announcement Woods said, "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."

Before adding, "It also looks like I'll be forced to miss several upcoming tournaments to focus on my rehabilitation.

"It's tough right now, but I'm absolutely optimistic about the future."

In Tiger's absence Rory McIlroy has shortened to 9.08/1 on the Exchange to claim his first Green Jacket next week, while defending champion Adam Scott is the now the clear second favourite at 11.010/1.

Woods is not the only high profile name with injury concerns ahead of the first Major of the season however.

Three-time champion Phil Mickelson (17.016/1) has twice withdrawn from tournaments already in 2014 - the latest being at the Texas Open last Saturday - citing back and muscle problems, though at the time of writing he is still set to take part in this week's Shell Houston Open.

And this year's WGC Mach Play champion Jason Day (19.018/1) has not played a strokplay tournament since February after withdrawing from his last two tournaments due to ligament damage in his thumb. The talented Aussie will now head straight to Augusta.


US Masters Betting (Tuesday, 19:30)

Rory McIlroy - 9.08/1
Adam Scott - 11.010/1
Phil Mickelson - 17.016/1
Jason Day - 19.018/1
Dustin Johnson - 20.019/1
Henrik Stenson - 23.022/1
Bubba Watson - 27.026/1
Matt Kuchar - 29.028/1
Bar - 32.031/1


*all bets on Tiger Woods (Sportsbook and Exchange) will be void and stakes returned


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