PGA Tour: Tiger Woods withdraws from Arnold Palmer Invitational event at Bay Hill
Last Updated: 19/03/14 5:15am
Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods: World No 1 sidelined by back pain
Tiger Woods has been forced to withdraw from this week's Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando.
The world No 1 and defending champion is still suffering from back problems and is now hoping he can recover from injury in time to tee-up at next month's Masters Tournament at Augusta.
In a statement on his website, Woods said: "I personally called Arnold to tell him that, sadly, I won't be able to play in his tournament this year.
"I would like to express my regrets to the Orlando fans, the volunteers, the tournament staff and the sponsors for having to miss the event.
"Unfortunately, my back spasms and the pain haven't subsided."
As for the opening major championship of the season in April, Woods added: "It's too early to know about the Masters and I will continue to be evaluated and work closely with my doctors.
"I feel badly that I won't be able to play in this great tournament this week."
The Masters, which Woods last won in 2005, starts on April 10.
This week's event at Bay Hill would only have been his fourth on the PGA Tour this year, and he has not won a tournament since the first week of August 2013.
Woods has been plagued by back problems recently and his condition worsened in the Honda Classic at Palm Beach Gardens earlier this month, when he quit after 13 holes of his final round.