Dustin Johnson Pulls Out of Masters With Injured Back
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Dustin Johnson, saying Thursday he was "going to give it a try" after suffering a back injury during a fall at his rental home on Wednesday, walked off the first tee and pulled out of the Masters just prior to his first-round tee time.
Johnson, 32, the No. 1-ranked player in the world and the pre-tournament favorite after winning his previous three starts on the PGA Tour, slipped on wooden stairs and fell on his back in a "freak accident," he said Thursday.
"It sucks," Johnson said after withdrawing from the first major of the year. "Obviously, I want to play more than anything. It hurts. I was going everything I could to try and play."
Johnson arrived at Augusta National on Thursday with the intention of playing. He visited physical trainers, warmed up on the driving range and hit a few putts. After much discussion following his warm-up shots, he told ESPN's Tom Rinaldi that he will "give it a try" and headed to the first tee.
He then headed to the clubhouse just as his group was scheduled to tee off.
"I can't swing full," Johnson said. "I can't make a normal swing. I could go back to about 80 percent.
"... Probably in three days, I'll be fine. If this had happened Monday, I'd be fine."
Johnson joins Tiger Woods (2014) as the only other No. 1-ranked player in the world to not play the Masters. He has won each of his past three starts on the PGA Tour.
He was scheduled to play in the day's final group with two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson and PGA Championship winner Jimmy Walker. Johnson, who won the U.S. Open last June, has six victories since last year's Masters, where he tied for fourth.
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