Justin Rose’s hopes of winning a first Masters title may have been boosted, after Tiger Woods announced he would not compete in the year’s opening major.

The world number one will miss the tournament for the first time after undergoing a procedure on a pinched nerve in his back.

Woods pulled out of the Honda Classic earlier this season with back spasms and was unable to defend his Arnold Palmer Invitational title last month due to ongoing problems.

In a statement, four-time Masters champion Woods said: “After attempting to get ready for the Masters, and failing to make the necessary progress, I decided, in consultation with my doctors, to have this procedure done.”