In a freak turn of events, Dustin Johnson has withdrawn from the 81st Masters due to a back injury he sustained Wednesday after falling down a staircase at his rental home in Augusta.
Thursday morning, DJ said he was going to “give it a try” before walking off the tee box moments before his group was about to tee off. According to his agent, Johnson landed on his lower back and both elbows during the fall and was “quite uncomfortable”. The injury was sustained when he went out to the garage to move a car and slipped on three wooden steps after a rainy day in Georgia.
This will be only the fourth time a World No. 1 has missed a major championship, and only the second time they’ve missed the Masters. Dustin Johnson joins Rory McIlroy (2015 Open, ankle), Greg Norman (1988 Open, wrist) and Tiger Woods, who missed the 2014 Masters (back surgery), the 2008 Open (ACL surgery) and the 2008 PGA Championship (ACL surgery).
Johnson had won both of his last starts, the last win at the Dell Technologies Match Play, and was on his way to making an extremely promising start at the first major of the year. All of the odds were stacked in his favor, so it’s disappointing to see him withdraw because of such an unfortunate accident. People may have other theories as to what happened to him, but in the end, DJ will not be playing in the Masters and that’s a blow for his career and golf fans everywhere. Hopefully he will make a speedy recovery and be back on the course as soon as he can.
The attention now turns to Rory McIlroy, who needs the Masters to complete the Grand Slam, Phil Mickelson, who will be the oldest player to win the Masters if he succeeds this year, and Jon Rahm, the rookie.