Tiger Woods withdraws from US Open to recover from back surgery

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Tiger Woods has withdrawn from next month’s US Open at Pinehurst as he recovers from back surgery.

Woods, 38, has not played since the WGC-Cadillac Championship in March.

“Unfortunately, I won’t be there because I’m not yet physically able to play competitive golf,” Woods said

“Despite missing the first two majors, and several other important tournaments, I remain very optimistic about this year and my future.”

The 14-time major champion missed the Masters in April for the first time in his professional career after undergoing surgery for a pinched nerve in his back on 31 March.

The 12-15 June US Open in North Carolina will be the sixth major the American has missed through injury.

After winning the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines while playing with a broken leg, Woods underwent knee surgery and was sidelined for eight months, missing the Open and the PGA Championship. In 2011, he missed the US Open and Open with knee and Achilles injuries.

“I’d like to convey my regrets to the USGA leadership, the volunteers and the fans that I won’t be at Pinehurst,” added Woods, who also won the US Open in 2000 and 2002.

The year’s third major, the Open, begins at Royal Liverpool on 17 July.

World number three Woods, who lost his number one ranking to Australian Adam Scott while injured, has not won a major for six years as he chases Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18 major titles.

Speaking on 19 May, he said: “Right before this surgery I couldn’t do much. Forget about playing golf at the highest level – I couldn’t get out of bed.”

But he said he felt “immediate relief” after the operation and was swimming and cycling to aid his rehabilitation.