Wednesday, September 26th, 2018 am30 6:15am

Tiger Woods will not play in the Masters

Tiger Woods will miss the Masters for the second time in three years.

Woods announced Friday night on his website that he is not prepared physically to take on Augusta National after a second back surgery in October.

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The 80th Masters begins April 7.

“After assessing the present condition of my back, and consulting with my medical team, I’ve decided it’s prudent to miss this year’s Masters,” Woods said. “I’ve been hitting balls and training daily, but I’m not physically ready.

“I’ve said all along that this time I need to be cautious and do what’s best for my long-term health and career. Unfortunately, playing Augusta next week wouldn’t be the right decision. I’m absolutely making progress, and I’m really happy with how far I’ve come, but I still have no timetable to return to competitive golf.”

The 40-year-old Woods, who also missed the 2014 Masters after back surgery, has won four green jackets at Augusta and is a 14-time major champion. He last played in a tournament in August at the Wyndham Championship, finishing in a tie for 10th.

Last year in the Masters, Woods tied for 17th, his best 2015 finish in a major during one of the worst seasons of his professional career.

“I’d like to express my disappointment to Billy Payne, the Augusta National membership, staff, volunteers and patrons that I won’t be competing. It’s a very important and special week to me, and it’s upsetting to miss it,” Woods said. “I do plan to attend the Champions Dinner and see a lot of old friends. I’d like to thank the fans for their concern and support. The last few years have been difficult, but I have the best fans anywhere, and I want them to know that.”

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