Dustin Johnson is officially out of the 2017 Masters at Augusta National. The world number one was the bookies' favourite to earn a first Green Jacket this weekend, only for it all to go awry. So why has Dustin Johnson withdrawn from the masters?
Why has Dustin Johnson withdrawn from the Masters?
It emerged last night that Johnson was in danger of withdrawing from the competition after suffering a back injury having fallen down the stairs at his rental house in Georgia. The news was confirmed via a statement by his agent, David Winkle:
He landed very hard on his lower back and is now resting, although quite uncomfortably. He has been advised to remain immobile and begin a regiment of anti-inflammatory medication and icing, with the hope of being able to play tomorrow.
Johnson intimated that he would test his back injury this afternoon, with a view to teeing off for the first round this evening. Johnson tested his swing earlier today, and left to undergo medical treatment. He then returned to take another few shot along with his coach Butch Harmon, where he looked slightly more comfortable. Unfortunately for Johnson, he had not recovered adequately to participate this weekend, and withdrew minutes before he was scheduled to tee off.
A dejected Johnson told the media afterward that it "sucks" to be unable to compete:
I'm playing the best golf of my life and to have a freak accident happen yesterday afternoon, it sucks really bad.
I have been worked on all morning and obviously I can take some swings, but I can't swing full, I can't make my normal swing and I didn't think there was any chance I could compete.
Johnson went on to explain exactly how the bizarre injury was sustained. It occurred as he went downstairs to move his car before his son returned from daycare:
I was wearing socks and slipped and went down the three stairs. The left side of my lower back took the brunt of it and my left elbow is bruised as well.
It's a horrible case of deja vu for Johnson, who was forced to miss the 2012 Masters with a back injury sustained while lifting a jet ski. Now that Johnson is unable to compete, Jordan Spieth has been installed as the favourite, with Rory McIlroy moving into place as the second-favourite.