Woods, who has back problems, isn’t sure he can play in Masters

Top-ranked Tiger Woods said he is not sure whether his ailing back will allow him to play in the Masters, which starts April 10 at Augusta National in Georgia.

“For Augusta, it’s actually still a little too soon, to be honest with you,” Woods said Monday. “That’s kind of the frustrating thing about this.”

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Woods was in Washington, D.C., for a news conference Monday to announce Quicken Loans is the new title sponsor of his golf tournament. The PGA Tour event starts June 26 at Congressional in Bethesda, Md.

The Masters is the only major tournament Woods, 38, has not missed as a pro. Four of his 14 major championships came at Augusta National.

Woods is off to the worst start of his 18 years on Tour, and he has been troubled lately by back problems.


Green can play for Americans

Julian Green’s change of national association to the United States from Germany has been approved by FIFA, the sport’s governing body.

The U.S. Soccer Federation announced the decision six days after Green applied for the switch.

The 18-year-old Bayern Munich forward, who was born in Tampa, Fla., played for Germany in three qualifiers for the 2014 European Under-19 Championship.

He made his professional debut for Bayern on Nov. 27 as an 88th-minute substitute in a UEFA Champions League match at CSKA Moscow.

Green is eligible to make his U.S. debut in an April 2 exhibition against Mexico in Glendale, Ariz.

U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said, “We are obviously thrilled. We appreciate FIFA’s effort in getting his paperwork approved, and are excited to have him on board for the game against Mexico on April 2.”

MLS Crew, McCullers to split

The Columbus Crew is splitting with team president Mark McCullers.

Crew officials said McCullers is resigning and leaving the Major League Soccer team April 30.

Anthony Precourt, new Crew chairman and investor-operator, said in a statement he told McCullers his contract would not be extended. Precourt said he and McCullers agreed the organization should go in a different direction.

UEFA sanctions Bayern fans

UEFA has banned Bayern Munich fans from a section of the team’s stadium for the next Champions League match because of discriminatory behavior of some supporters.

There was a homophobic banner that included a crude cartoon image of Arsenal player Mesut Ozil, who is German, displayed by fans at a match against Arsenal in Munich. The closure of a section will come during a Champions League match against Manchester United on April 9.

Track and field

Texts to Pistorius are revealed

Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp argued fiercely in the turbulent weeks before he killed her, and the athlete’s girlfriend told him she was sometimes scared by his behavior, according to phone messages revealed at the double-amputee Olympian’s murder trial in Pretoria, South Africa.

“I’m scared of u sometimes and how u snap at me and of how u will react to me,” Steenkamp texted Pistorius in a message read in court by police Capt. Francois Moller.

In another message, Steenkamp wrote to Pistorius: “I can’t be attacked by outsiders for dating u AND be attacked by you, the one person I deserve protection from.”

Messages suggested both were experiencing emotional insecurity, though the ones revealed in court reflected prosecutors’ efforts to portray Pistorius as an aggressor with a short fuse.

Pistorius, 27, is charged with premeditated murder. He says he shot the 29-year-old Steenkamp accidentally, thinking she was an intruder in a toilet cubicle in the bathroom of his home. Prosecutors contend Pistorius killed Steenkamp after an argument.


• High-profile tennis players were in action at the Sony Open in Key Biscayne, Fla.

In the fourth round, top-ranked Serena Williams beat CoCo Vandeweghe 6-3, 6-1 in a matchup of Americans. Russian Maria Sharapova beat Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.

In a third-round men’s match, No. 1 Rafael Nadal of Spain beat Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 6-1, 6-0.

• South Korean sports officials said they are preparing to file a formal complaint with the International Skating Union over the judging of the women’s figure skating competitions at last month’s Sochi Olympics in Russia.

South Korean fans were outraged when Yuna Kim was denied a second consecutive Olympic gold medal. She finished second to Russian teenager Adelina Sotnikova.

Alex Galchenyuk scored the only shootout goal, and the visiting Montreal Canadiens stopped the Boston Bruins’ NHL winning streak at 12 games with a 2-1 victory.

Boston leads the league with 104 points, one more than Western Conference-leading St. Louis.

Seattle Times news services