Dustin Johnson withdraws from Masters with back injury

Ross Houston
April 7, 2017

He bounced back with superb shots to set up birdie chances at the third, fifth, sixth and eighth holes but registered only one at the par-3 sixth before another dropped shot at the par-4 ninth dropped his total to one-over. They all shot 1-under 71.

Justin Rose of England and William McGirt of the USA are 2 under. According to his manager, David Winkle, Johnson took anti-inflammatory medicine, iced his back and rested after the fall. The victor of his last three PGA Tour starts was forced to withdraw from the tournament with a back injury. Following are the highlights on the opening day at the first major championship of the year.

World number two Roy McIlroy of Northern Ireland is among the late starters in a group with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and Spaniard Jon Rahm.

As compatriots Bubba Watson and Jimmy Walker prepared to tee off, however, Johnson suddenly walked back to the Augusta National clubhouse.

Clearly in pain during a limited warmup session, Johnson still meant to at least try to play Thursday. He was treating it with ice and medication and told to remain immobile. Who can forget Ben Crenshaw winning just days after he was a pallbearer at swing coach Harvey Penick's funeral? "By far the best player in the world".

Earlier this week, Johnson had said he knew the Masters would be a challenge. The gallery, which included Pro Bowl linebacker Vic Beasley of the Atlanta Falcons, went insane when the putt rolled in, Mickelson smiling and waving in appreciating. Belgian Thomas Pieters and Dane Soren Kjeldsen finished at level par.

Mickelson is trying to match Jack Nicklaus' feat as the oldest champion at Augusta.

The conditions led to an assault on red numbers and produced big numbers. The problem for golfers now is wind, which is expected to blow over 20 miles per hour and gust up to 40 by this afternoon.

Nicklaus and Player strode to the tee in the bright morning sunshine. He knows all about them, and knows many of them personally.

THE 2017 Masters Tournament begins today - here are the 10 leading candidates to win the green jacket.

The No. 1 player in the world fell down a flight of stairs at his rental home in Augusta on Wednesday, injuring his back. ESPN's telecast begins at 2 p.m. CDT.

The winds, battering tee shots and approaches, even influenced putts.

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