Tiger Woods will miss next week's Masters after undergoing back surgery for a pinched nerve.
The world number one released a statement on his website saying the operation had been successful but he needed to take a rest before playing again.
"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," said Woods.
Woods has not missed the tournament, golf season's first major, since he made his debut at Augusta National as an amateur in 1995.
The 38-year-old has been plagued by back problems since last year but his condition worsened last month. He failed to finish the Honda Classic at Palm Beach Gardens in early March, quitting after 13 holes in his final round. He then tweaked his back again on the last day at the WGC-Cadillac Championship in Miami a week later.
Woods pulled out of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, a tournament he has won eight times, including 2012 and 2013, in the hope that he could play at the Masters before opting to undergo surgery instead.
"It's tough right now, but I'm absolutely optimistic about the future," Woods said. "There are a couple records by two outstanding individuals and players that I hope one day to break."