2 Jul 2016

Woods out of Open Championship

3:16 pm on 2 July 2016

Tiger Woods has withdrawn from this month's British Open at Royal Troon as members of the golf club voted overwhelmingly to admit women.

Tiger Woods playing the Open Championship at Royal Troon 2004.

Tiger Woods playing the Open Championship at Royal Troon 2004. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The news of Wood's withdrawal was merely a formality as there was never any indication he would be healthy enough to play in the July 14-17 event in Scotland.

The 40-year-old has not competed in almost 11 months and has offered no timetable on a possible return to action after undergoing back surgery last September.

He has won the British Open three times -- at St Andrews in 2000 and 2005 and at Royal Liverpool in 2006.

Woods tied for ninth the last time the Open was held at Troon in 2004.

Australian Marcus Fraser replaces American Woods in the Open field.

Woods entered last month's U.S. Open as well as the British Open before the deadline for both events, just in case he was ready to play.

But in withdrawing from the U.S. Open, he said: "While I continue to work hard on getting healthy, I am not physically ready to play."

Last week he gave the strongest indication yet that he might not play again this year.

Woods has won 14 major championships, behind only the 18 captured by Jack Nicklaus.

Eight years ago, when Woods won the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines in southern California, it seemed only injury or personal problems could stop him from surpassing Nicklaus's record.

But his marriage disintegrated in late 2009 amid revelations of multiple affairs and he got divorced.

Although he returned to top form, winning three times on the PGA Tour in 2012 and five times in 2013, he has not added to his major championship tally.

A back injury sidelined him in 2014 and he underwent his first microdiscectomy in March of that year, playing only four more tournaments before calling a premature end to his season.

He competed in just 11 tournaments in 2015 before undergoing another microdiscectomy in September and a follow-up procedure a few weeks later.

He has not played since.

Meanwhile, members of Scotland's Royal Troon have voted "overwhelmingly" to admit women, thereby protecting the course's place on the Open rota.

In May, Muirfield voted to retain its ban on women members and was immediately removed from the Open rota by British golf's governing body The Royal & Ancient.

"We welcome this decision by the membership at Royal Troon and recognise its significance for the club," an R&A spokesman said.

"Our focus today is very much on The 145th Open in just under two weeks' time but we can now look forward to many more great Championships at Royal Troon in years to come."