Tiger Woods 'hopeful' of Masters return from indefinite break

Tiger Woods
Woods hit the worst round of his professional career with an 11-over-par 82 in Phoenix last month

Former world number one Tiger Woods is "hopeful" of a return for the Masters but will miss next week's Arnold Palmer Invitational.

The 14-time major winner is taking an indefinite break from the game having described this year's performances as "unacceptable for tournament play".

"I've put in a lot of time and work on my game and I'm making strides," said Woods, 39.

Woods added that he won't return until he can "compete at the highest level".

He has won the Arnold Palmer Invitational, held in Orlando, Florida, eight times in his career.

In a statement on his official website,external-link Woods said: "I spoke to Arnold today and told him that I will not play in his tournament this year. I'm sorry I won't be in Orlando next week, but I know it will be a really successful event.

"I hope to be ready for the Masters, and I will continue to work hard preparing for Augusta."

Woods, 39, withdrew injured with back problems from last month's event at Torrey Pines after just 12 holes, having missed the cut at the Phoenix Open the week before.

The Masters in Augusta, which Woods has won four times, begins on 9 April.

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