T.J. Auclair is a Senior Interactive Producer for PGA.com and has covered professional golf since 1998, traveling to over 60 major championships. You can follow him on Twitter, @tjauclair.
Masters 2017: Dustin Johnson withdraws due to injury
Series: Golf Buzz
Published: Thursday, April 06, 2017 | 2:10 p.m.
After a mishap that happened at the absolute worst time -- 3 p.m. on the eve of the Masters -- Dustin Johnson, the world's No. 1 player, has withdrawn from the Masters.
Roughly 23 hours ago, Johnson slipped on some stairs at his Augusta, Ga., rental home and landed on his lower back.
While it was reported that his condition seemed to be improving throughout Thursday, things changed when he arrived at Augusta National to prepare for his opening round.
Johnson spent time on the driving range with his brother/caddie, Austin, and coach Butch Harmon.
He took a couple of breaks to get treatment on his back, according to Golf Channel's Todd Lewis.
Johnson then returned to the range to hit longer iron shots and driver, but it was clear he didn't have the fire power we're used to seeing from one of the game's longest players.
At 2:02 p.m. EDT, just one minute before his 2:03 p.m. tee time with Bubba Watson and Jimmy Walker, Johnson decided to withdraw.
In 2014, Tiger Woods was the No. 1-ranked player in the world and was also forced to miss the Masters.
ESPN reported that Johnson said one in every three swings hurt him at impact. He expects to be fine in 2-3 days, but did not want to risk further issues by giving it a go at the Masters.
Here's the moment Johnson decided to withdraw: