Woods out of Arnold Palmer Invitational event at Bay Hill, Masters in doubt

Tiger Woods has lost his latest battle with a familiar enemy and withdrawn from this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando with ongoing back problems.

The World No.1 and defending champion was unable to shake off the back trouble which has plagued his 2014 season thus far, and it will now be a race against time for him to get fit to tee-off at next month’s Masters Tournament at Augusta.

Woods issued a statement on his official website, in which he 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."

With the opening major championship of the season quickly approaching, Woods will need to recover before the April deadline. He 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, a tournament that Woods last won in 2005, begins on April 10.

Woods’ back problems and his condition was worsened in the Honda Classic at Palm Beach Gardens earlier this month, and he has not won a tournament since the opening week of August in 2013.