Dustin Johnson has withdrawn from The Masters just minutes before his round one tee time at Augusta National.
The 32-year-old American, who was chasing four wins in a row, was ruled doubtful for the tournament late yesterday evening after a fall at his rental home in Augusta.
"I just slipped going down the stairs and landed on my lower back," said Johnson. "It’s just really tight. Obviously I was making some swing on the range, not going max, about 80%, and it’s still just so tight it…I could get through a backswing, but down right at impact it would catch.
"I don’t think there’s any chance of me even competing. It hurts. You know, I was doing everything I could to try and play. Last nice ice, heat, ice, up all night to try and get it ready. We worked on it all morning. I just can’t swing full, can’t make a normal swing."
He arrived at the practice area one hour before his scheduled start time of 2.03pm [7.03pm UK time] and looked uncomfortable throughout.
"On the putting green I made a few swings. But I just can’t swing the club. Tatum (his son) was on the way home from day care, it was pouring down rain, and I was going to move the car, I was wearing my socks and I just slid as I went down the stairs.
"It was only like a little three set (of stairs). It would actually have been a little better if it was full set of stairs as I would have just slid down it, but it was only three, so I kind of landed on the bottom. My left elbow is swollen and bruised.
To have a freak accident happen yesterday afternoon, it sucks
"I mean, it sucks, I want to play. I’m probably playing the best golf of my career. This is one of my favourite tournaments of the year. To have a freak accident happen yesterday afternoon, it sucks. It really does. It sucks really bad.
"It feels like in two days I’ll be fine. If it had happened on Monday it would be fine. But on a Wednesday… I didn’t get much sleep. But that’s not the issue. I’m not tired. I want to play but I just can’t swing."