Tiger Woods has put his season on hold after having back surgery for the fifth time in his career.
The 15-time major winner last played at the PNC Championship in December, where he felt “discomfort” in his back.
A statement on his social media channels said he has had a “procedure to remove a pressurised disc fragment that was pinching his nerve”.
Doctors said the surgery was successful but Woods, 45, will miss a number of PGA Tour events.
“I look forward to begin training and am focused on getting back out on Tour,” he said.
Woods will miss the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines from 28-31 January – but while he will not play in The Genesis Invitational from 18-21 February either, he will still fulfil his role as tournament host.
Rory McIlroy says he expects Woods to be fit again in time for the Masters, the first major of the men’s season, which takes place from 8-11 April.
“I’ve known for a while. He had it on 23 December,” said the Northern Irishman.
“In his words it was a small procedure. Obviously any time you are being cut into you try to avoid that as much as you can, but he was back on his feet the next day so I don’t think we can read too much into it.
“I think they were just trying to clean a couple of little bits up. Obviously he won’t be playing for the next couple of months but he should be back for the Masters, if not before that, so I think he’ll be just fine.”
Between August 2015 and December 2017, Woods played in just one PGA Tour event, as he was suffering with a back complaint.
He has spinal-fusion surgery in 2017 and after playing 18 PGA Tour events in 2018, he claimed his 15th major with victory at the 2019 Masters – more than a decade after his 14th.
He then won the Zozo Championship to equal Sam Snead’s record of 82 wins on the PGA Tour.
Woods ended 2019 sixth in golf’s world rankings but is now 44th.