Dustin Johnson walks off first tee, withdraws from Masters
Dustin Johnson walked off the first tee and withdrew from the Masters on Thursday, one day after apparently injuring his back in a fall down the stairs at his Augusta rental home.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) April 6, 2017
Johnson was on the practice range prior to the start of his round Thursday, but he walked off the first tee box before hitting a shot and returned to the clubhouse, where he eventually withdrew.
Johnson is the world No. 1 and was the odds-on favorite to win his first green jacket. Many sports books announced they were refunding all outright bets placed on him.
Here’s Johnson speaking about it shortly after withdrawing:
— Nathan Palm (@NathanPalmWJBF) April 6, 2017
Johnson hurt himself late on Wednesday on what was described by his agent, David Winkle, as a “serious” tumble down stairs. He told ESPN after his withdrawal that he landed on his elbow and lower back and could swing “maybe about 70 percent, max” and still felt pain while doing it.
“Obviously my heart is in it and wants to play,” he said.
Johnson is the fourth different player to miss a major while ranked No. 1. The last was Rory McIlroy at the 2015 Open Championship.