Tiger Woods has withdrawn from next week's Players Championship at Sawgrass to protect his ongoing back injury.

The 15-time major champion, who won the prestigious event in 2001 and 2013, informed PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan he would not be participating on Friday.

In a statement to ESPN and Golf Digest, reported on the PGA Tour's official website, Woods' agent Mark Steinberg said: "Back just not ready. Nothing concerning, just not ready."

HeraldScotland:

Woods has not played since finishing 68th and last of those to make the cut at the Genesis Invitational last month, in what was only his second outing of the year.

The 44-year-old cited "back stiffness" when announcing he would miss this week's Arnold Palmer Invitational - an event he has won eight times.

Woods has undergone surgery on his back four times since 2014 and his latest setback comes just 34 days before he is due to start the defence of his Masters title at Augusta National.