Dustin Johnson Withdraws from 2017 Masters Due to Back Injury

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistApril 6, 2017

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 06:  Dustin Johnson of the United States walks with coach Butch Harmon on the range prior to his tee time for the first round of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 6, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson withdrew from the Masters on Thursday afternoon right before his group was slated to tee off. 

According to ESPN.com's Jason Sobel, Johnson walked off the first tee and back toward the clubhouse following a short session on the practice range. 

Johnson was forced to withdraw after he suffered a back injury Wednesday as the result of a fall on the staircase at his rental home in Augusta, Georgia. 

"He landed very hard on his lower back and is now resting, although quite uncomfortably," Johnson's manager David Winkle said Wednesday, per ESPN.com news services

Johnson later told ESPN's Tom Rinaldi he would "give it a try" following his warmup, as ESPN.com's Bob Harig reported Thursday afternoon, but he evidently wasn't close to full strength. 

"I can't swing full," he said after withdrawing, per Sobel. "I can't make my normal swing and I didn't think there was any chance I could compete."

The 32-year-old is now the second world No. 1 since the rankings started in 1986 to miss the year's first major. According to Golf Channel's Justin Ray, the first to do so was Tiger Woods in 2014. 

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