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Tiger skips Masters

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Tiger Woods announced Friday he had lost his battle to be fit for the Masters, saying he was ‘‘not tournament ready’’ for the first major of the year and did not have a timetable for his return.

Woods, whose 14 major titles include four Masters green jackets, has not played since withdrawing from the Dubai Desert Classic on February 3 with ongoing back spasms.

He made his comeback in December after missing all of the 2015-16 season in the wake of back surgery.

But his return has run aground, with the 41-year-old withdrawing from the Genesis Open in Los Angeles in February, the Honda Classic and the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March.

He even cancelled a planned press conference at the Los Angeles tournament, saying doctors had advised him to ‘‘limit all activities’’ as he tried to get his balky back on track.

‘‘Unfortunately, I won’t be competing in this year’s Masters,’’ Woods said on his website. ‘‘I did about everything I could to play, but my back rehabilitation didn’t allow me the time to get tournament ready.

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