Woods withdraws from US Open

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Woods withdraws from US Open
US golfer Tiger Woods talks about his back injury and the future of his sponsored tournament, now named the Quicken Loans National, during a press conference in Washington, DC, March 24, 2014. Woods, who pulled out as defending champion of the Arnold Palmer Invitational last week with a bad back, appeared at the Newseum to speak about his a new sponsor for his golf tournament that will be played this summer at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland, as well as his Tiger Woods Foundation. Woods went on to say that nothing has changed with his back and the Masters may be to soon to return. AFP PHOTO / Jim WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 09: Tiger Woods collects his golf ball during the final round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 9, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 09: Tiger Woods waits on the 11th green during the final round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 9, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 09: Tiger Woods hits his approach shot on the 11th hole during the final round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 9, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 09: Tiger Woods reacts to his tee shot on the 12th hole during the final round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 9, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 09: Tiger Woods hits a bunker shot on the 13th hole during the final round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 9, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 09: Tiger Woods lines up a putt on the first green during the final round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 9, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 09: Tiger Woods walks off a green during the final round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 9, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 09: Tiger Woods reaches for a golf ball on the practice ground during the final round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 9, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 09: Tiger Woods waits on the first tee during the final round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 9, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 09: Tiger Woods hits his tee shot on the first hole during the final round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 9, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 08: Tiger Woods speaks with the media after a six-under par 66 during the third round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 8, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 08: Tiger Woods speaks with the media after a six-under par 66 during the third round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 8, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 08: Tiger Woods reacts to a missed putt on the 14th hole during the third round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 8, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 08: Tiger Woods hits his tee shot on the fourth hole during the third round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 8, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 07: Tiger Woods reacts to a long birdie putt on the fourth hole during the second round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 7, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 07: Tiger Woods hits his tee shot on the 14th hole during the second round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 7, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 06: Tiger Woods watches his tee shot on the seventh hole during the first round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 6, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 06: Tiger Woods walks across a green during the first round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 6, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 06: Tiger Woods hits a shot on the practice ground during the first round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 6, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 05: Tiger Woods plays during a practice round for the WGC Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 5, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 05: Tiger Woods speaks with the media before a practice round prior to the start of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 5, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL - MARCH 01: Tiger Woods plays a shot on the third hole during the third round of The Honda Classic at PGA National Resort and Spa on March 1, 2014 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
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BY DOUG FERGUSON
AP GOLF WRITER

DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) -- Tiger Woods withdrew from the U.S. Open on Wednesday as he recovers from back surgery that has kept him out of golf for nearly three months.

It will be the second U.S. Open, and sixth major, he has missed because of injury over the last six years.

The U.S. Open is June 12-15 at Pinehurst No. 2, where Woods tied for third in 1999 and was runner-up in 2005. The announcement on his website was not surprising. A week ago at a promotional event for the Quicken Loans National at Congressional, Woods said he still had not taken a full swing with a golf club and did not know when he could.

He had microdiscetomy surgery to relieve a pinched nerve on March 31.

"Unfortunately, I won't be there because I'm not yet physically able to play competitive golf," Woods said. "I'd like to convey my regrets to the USGA leadership, the volunteers and the fans that I won't be at Pinehurst. The U.S. Open is very important to me, and I know it's going to be a great week."

Woods last played on March 9 at Doral, where he closed with a 78 while suffering what he called back spasms. He withdrew in the middle of the final round at the Honda Classic with back pain a week earlier.

Woods is a three-time U.S. Open champion, one short of the record shared by Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan, Bobby Jones and Willie Anderson. His most recent U.S. Open victory was in 2008 at Torrey Pines, where he won in a playoff over Rocco Mediate a week before he had season-ending knee surgery.

That was his 14th victory in 46 majors, a winning rate of 30 percent as a pro. He has not won a major since Torrey Pines, leaving him four short of Nicklaus' record.



Woods missed the British Open and PGA Championship after knee surgery in 2008. He missed the U.S. Open and British Open while allowing leg injuries to heal in 2011. He missed the Masters for the first time in April because of back surgery.

Nicklaus said earlier Wednesday that Woods' health would be the biggest obstacle in breaking his record in the majors. Woods called Nicklaus earlier Wednesday to express regrets about missing the Memorial, and Nicklaus said that Woods indicated he was making progress.

"If he's healthy, I think Tiger has got 10-plus years to play top quality tournament golf," Nicklaus said. "And I've said many times, he's got a little over 40 tournaments to play the major championships; he's only got to win five to pass my record. As good a player as he is, I don't think that should be a big deal. But then again, he's got to do it. Plus, he's also got to be healthy to be able to do it."

Woods has not indicated when he might be able to return to competition, saying that would be up to his doctors and how he recovers from the surgery.

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