Tiger Woods decides to sit out another Masters

Tiger Woods won’t play in the Masters for the third time in the last four years, announcing on Friday night on his website that rehabilitation on his back didn’t allow him enough time to prepare.

Tiger Woods missed the Masters for the first time in 2014 because of the first of what would be three surgeries on his back.   -  Getty Images

Tiger Woods won’t play in the Masters for the third time in the last four years, announcing on Friday night on his website that rehabilitation on his back didn’t allow him enough time to prepare.

“I did about everything I could to play, but my back rehabilitation didn’t allow me the time to get tournament ready,” Woods said on his website.

Augusta National checked on Woods’ status on Thursday before sending out its press conference schedule for Masters week. Woods did not know if he could play, so the club held onto his 1 p.m. spot just in case.

Woods missed the Masters for the first time in 2014 because of the first of what would be three surgeries on his back. He played in 2015 despite taking off two months with chipping problems, and he tied for 17th.

Woods also missed the Arnold Palmer Invitational. And now the wait continues for Woods, once golf’s dominant force, now its biggest mystery.

“I think injury has a lot to do with it, but the injury is not just his body, but his mind,” Jack Nicklaus said in an interview last month.

“Mentally, I think he’s had a hard time with what’s happened, because every time he turns around, he hurts himself,” Nicklaus said. “And instead he’s saying, ‘When am I going to get over this?’ ... He may physically be hurt. You guys don’t know. I don’t know. I really don’t have an answer. I just know that the guy looks great, talks great, mentally he sounds sharp. So what’s happening?”

Woods said there was no timetable for a return to competition.

“But I will continue my diligent effort to recover, and want to get back out there as soon as possible,” he said.

Woods has signed endorsement deals over the last four months with Monster Energy (on his golf bag), and equipment deals to play with TaylorMade clubs and Bridgestone golf balls. He still has an apparel contract with Nike.

Woods said he was particularly disappointed because this is the 20-year anniversary of his first victory at the Masters, a record-shattering, game-changing, 12-shot victory at age 21.

Woods won the Masters four times, most recently in 2005 in a playoff over Chris DiMarco. The Masters remains the only major where he has never missed the cut as a pro.