World number one Dustin Johnson has withdrawn from the Masters, just minutes before he was due to tee off.
Johnson suffered a back injury on Thursday night after falling down the stairs of his rental property, and although he had made every effort to take his place at Augusta, that will now not be happening.
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The injury suffered to the 32-year-old’s back on Thursday evening put his participation in the competition in serious doubt, though his manager was hopeful that he would be able to compete when a further assessment would be carried out.
He arrived at Augusta at 12.15pm local time and played a few practice balls in preparation, if nothing else than to ascertain his ability to swing a club. Indeed it looked as though he would at least begin play less than two hours later, but just before he was due to tee off with Bubba Watson and Jimmy Walker the injury got the better of him and he was forced to walk off the course.
It is a cruel blow for the world number one, who was listed as the favourite to win the tournament with most bookmakers.