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Tiger Woods chose surgery to heal his ailing back over a quest for another green jacket, announcing Tuesday that he will miss the Masters for the first time in his career. Woods said on his website that he had surgery Monday in Utah for a pinched nerve that had been hurting him for several months, knowing the surgery would keep him from Augusta National next week for the first time since he was a senior in high school. The No. 1 player in the world is a four-time Masters champion. "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. "Id like to express my disappointment to the Augusta National membership, staff, volunteers and patrons that I will not be at the Masters. "Its a week thats very special to me," he said. "It also looks like Ill be forced to miss several upcoming tournaments to focus on my rehabilitation and getting healthy." The Masters gets the highest television ratings of any golf tournament, and Woods commands most of the attention, even though he last won a green jacket in 2005. He won his first Masters in 1997 when he set 20 records, from youngest Masters champion at 21 to his 12-shot margin of victory. "I know Tiger has been working very hard to return to form, and as I have said many times, Tiger has a lot of years of good golf ahead of him," Jack Nicklaus said. "I hate to see him robbed of some of that time by injury. But we all know he is doing what is in the best interest of his health and future. I wish him well on a speedy recovery." Nicklaus played 154 straight majors for which he was eligible until he missed the 1998 British Open because of an ailing left hip that he had replaced a year later. Nicklaus rarely had injury problems in compiling 18 professional majors, the record that Woods wants. Woods has been stuck on 14 majors for six years. Woods has had four surgeries on his left knee, and now his biggest concern is his back. He has been coping with back issues since last summer: a twinge in the final round of the PGA Championship and spasms in the final round of The Barclays that caused him to fall to his knees. Then, they returned with alarming regularity recently in Florida. He withdrew after 13 holes in the final round of the Honda Classic with what he described as lower back pain and spasms. Woods shot the highest final round of his career at Doral a week later when he said his back flared up again in the final round. He skipped the Arnold Palmer Invitational, where he was the two-time defending champion, to rest his back and do everything possible to be at Augusta National next week. "Tiger was gracious in keeping us updated of his condition and making us aware of his decision," Augusta National chairman Billy Payne said. "We wholeheartedly offered our best wishes for his immediate and long-term recovery." Woods said he had a microdiscectomy for the pinched nerve, performed by neurosurgeon Charles Rich. A microdiscectomy is a type of minimally invasive spine surgery to relieve pressure and pain caused by a herniated disc. Operating through a small incision in the lower back, surgeons remove small disc fragments that are pressing against spinal nerves. Recovery can take several weeks and doctors typically advise against bending and twisting the back until patients are completely healed "This is frustrating," Woods said. "But its something my doctors advised me to do for my immediate and long-term health." His website said repeating the motion of a golf swing can cause problems with a pinched nerve, and that the injury could have become worse if he had continued to play. Woods said he hopes to return to golf this summer, though he could not say when. Its possible he could at least start chipping and putting in three weeks. He will have to wait until the U.S. Open -- maybe longer -- to resume his quest to match Nicklaus in the majors. Woods won his 14th major at the 2008 U.S. Open on a badly injured left leg that required season-ending surgery two days after his playoff win at Torrey Pines. He has not won another major since then. This would have been the 20th straight Masters for Woods, dating to 1995 when he tied for 41st as the U.S. Amateur champion. He missed the British Open and PGA Championship in 2008 after knee surgery, and the U.S. Open and British Open in 2011 to heal more injuries in his left leg. But he never missed the Masters, even after the scandal in his personal life at the end of 2009. Woods had been out of golf for nearly five months dealing with a car crash into a fire hydrant, revelations of multiple extramarital affairs and 45 days in a Mississippi clinic when he returned to Augusta National under intense scrutiny. He tied for fourth. Even though he hasnt won the Masters in nine years, he had only finished out of the top 10 one time, in 2012. Woods has 79 career wins on the PGA Tour, three short of the record held by Sam Snead. He already was off to the worst start of his career. "Its tough right now, but Im 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 Ive said many times, Sam and Jack reached their milestones over an entire career. I plan to have a lot of years left in mine." Vans Shoes Wholesale . Ryan Callahan trade talks caught a lot of people off guard. Details are now emerging about why the Rangers would consider such a move. Darren Dreger: He wants a lot of money. Its been widely reported that Callahan is looking for a seven-year term around $6 million per year. That is not accurate. Im told that it is more than $6. Cheap Vans Shoes . Hes the same player he always was, only now his efforts are being rewarded. The rookie manager has made a habit of heaping praise on others when things are going well, and accepting criticism when they arent.  But in the case of Hurtado, its what the coach is NOT saying that may be the secret to a superb run of form. http://www.vanssalestore.com/vans-old-sk...rance.html. Here is a look at all the moves through the first week of NHL Free Agency. The most significant deals will get the full Numbers Game column treatment, like these:Briere-for-Parenteau trade. Vans Shoes Discount . Sure, Josh Browns 45-yard field goal on the third drive of overtime lifted the New York Giants to a 23-20 win over Detroit on Sunday. But the Lions (7-8) dropped themselves out of the NFC North race by losing five of their last six games, blowing fourth-quarter leads in each setback. Vans Old Skool Black Sale .com) - A pair of programs shooting for their 10th win of the season get together at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, as the NC State Wolfpack tangle with 22nd-ranked West Virginia during the challenge round of the Gotham Classic.LOS ANGELES -- Jordan Farmar scored a career-high 30 points off the bench, making eight of 10 shots from 3-point range, and the Los Angeles Lakers capitalized on the absence of suspended Sacramento star DeMarcus Cousins to beat the Kings 126-122 Friday night. Jodie Meeks made all eight of his shots and finished with 22 points, including three of the Lakers franchise-record 19 3-pointers on 27 attempts. Pau Gasol also scored 22, and newly acquired reserve MarShon Brooks had 23. The Lakers shot 60 per cent in a matchup of teams with the two worst records in the Western Conference. They have won the first three meetings against the Kings this season, with one remaining on April 2 at Sacramento. Los Angeles is a game behind the Kings in the conference standings and 1 1/2 behind Utah. The Lakers (20-39) must go 11-12 the rest of the way to avoid tying the 1974-75 squad for the worst record in a regulation season since the franchise relocated from Minneapolis to Los Angeles in 1960-61. Rudy Gay scored 32 points for the Kings, who squandered a 12-point lead before halftime and then blew a 15-point lead in the second half despite converting 17 Lakers turnovers into 25 points. Derrick Williams and Isaiah Thomas each had 27 points. First-year Sacramento coach Michael Malone used his 14th different starting lineup, with Williams making his first start since Feb. 2 and power forward Jason Thompson shifting to centre in Cousins spot. Cousins, who is averaging a team-high 22.3 points, received a one-game ban from the NBA on Thursday for punching Houston guard Patrick Beverley in the stomach during the Kings 129-103 home loss Tuesday night. Suspensions are nothinng new to Cousins.dddddddddddd Last season, the enigmatic four-year veteran with the hair-trigger temper was suspended two games by the league for confronting San Antonio TV analyst and former player Sean Elliott in a hostile manner on the court following the Spurs postgame show, because of some on-air remarks Elliott made criticizing Cousins for trash-talking with Tim Duncan. About a month later, Cousins was suspended one game for striking Dallas O.J. Mayo in the groin area. Cousins got into trouble again less than 1 1/2 weeks after that while the Kings were at Staples Center to play the Clippers. That night he shouted at Kings coach Keith Smart in the locker room during halftime, was benched for the rest of that game and then suspended two games for "unprofessional behaviour and conduct detrimental to the team." On New Years Day 2012, Cousins demanded a trade and was ordered by then-coach Paul Westphal to stay home for a game while the team was in New Orleans because of his "lack of commitment" to the organization. NOTES: The only other 30-point game for a Lakers player this season was by Nick Young, who had 31 on Jan. 20 in an overtime loss at Chicago. ... Lakers point guard Kendall Marshall played 19 scoreless minutes with 10 assists. ... The Kings came in averaging a league-worst 22.9 fouls. They were called for 16 against the Lakers. ... The Lakers are one of seven teams that have lost 20 or more games by double-digit margins. ... Sacramento will host Minnesota and New Orleans before going back on the road for seven straight games. ... The Lakers have won 16 of their last 20 against the Kings, with three of the losses coming in Sacramento. ' ' '
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