Tiger's Masters absence lamented by supportive Guardiola

The 14-time major champion said his latest operation was a success and he is optimistic that he can return to full fitness.

Tiger Woods can add Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola's name to the lengthy list of people who would love to see him make a successful return to golf.

After 16 months out following three back surgeries, 14-time major winner Woods' made an initial comeback in December.

However, further problems quickly derailed his return and back spasms forced him to pull out of the Dubai Desert Classic last February.

Woods is yet to take part in another event and announced at the weekend that he would be unable to feature at this year's Masters.

Guardiola is disappointed Woods will not be competing at Augusta, but remains hopeful the American will rediscover the form that saw him dominate the sport.

"[Augusta is] beautiful, the place is amazing," Guardiola, who harbours a well known love for golf, said at a media conference on Tuesday.

"It's a traditional tournament, one of the big four, so it will be nice to see the best players in the world playing there.

"Unfortunately we cannot see Tiger back, so hopefully he comes back as soon as possible because he changed the sport with his charisma and the way he plays.

"I would like it if it he was able to come back and play at that level like before."

Woods last won a major in 2008, while his most recent success at the Masters was in 2005.

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