It appears Dustin Johnson’s back injury was more serious than he thought.
Johnson officially has withdrawn from The Masters after walking off the first tee at Augusta National ahead of his first round Thursday.
The 32-year-old, ranked No. 1 in the world and a favorite to win the 81st Masters, injured his back Wednesday after falling down the stairs of his rental home. The injury put Johnson’s status for the tournament in question, but he warmed up Thursday afternoon ahead of his 2:03 p.m. ET tee time and told ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi at approximately 1:45 p.m. he was “gonna try (and play),” according to Golf.com.
Johnson reported to the first hole for his tee time but walked away before teeing off, heading back to the clubhouse to announce his withdrawal.
Johnson’s absence leaves a wide-open field to contend for golf’s first major of 2017. Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Rickie Fowler are among those expected to compete into Sunday and dethrone defending champion Danny Willett.
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