Top-ranked golfer Dustin Johnson fell down a staircase, injured his back, and now may miss one of the most prominent tournaments of the year, the Masters. That’s definitely one for the weird injuries list, and it comes at a highly unfortunate time for Johnson.
If you asked PGA golfers what’s one tournament they wouldn’t want to miss, a large portion of them would probably say the Masters. It’s potentially the most famous tournament out there, and it’s at one of the best courses in the world. Sadly, the top-ranked golfer in the world may miss the 2017 edition.
Johnson, 32, is the favorite heading into this week a year after his best finish in Augusta when he tied-fourth at the 2016 Masters. A day before he’s set to tee off, Johnson is questionable after a back injury he suffered Wednesday afternoon at his rental home.
Here’s the statement Johnson’s agent, David Winkle, released Wednesday after Johnson fell and hurt his back:
“At roughly 3:00 pm today, Dustin took a serious fall on a staircase in his Augusta rental home,” the statement read. “He landed very hard on his lower back and is now resting, although quite uncomfortably. He has been advised to remain immobile and begin a regimen of anti-inflammatory medication and icing, with the hope of being able to play tomorrow.”
That’s brutal. The injury was a freak accident and one that could’ve easily been prevented. Even Johnson couldn’t believe it:
According to Golf World’s Tim Rosaforte, Johnson was on a short staircase going into the basement when his feet went out from under him. Johnson’s fiancée Paulina Gretzky said the fall “sounded like a huge thud.” When Johnson’s trainer Joey Diovisalvi walked into the house, Johnson’s first words were, “Dude, I can’t believe I did that.”
This also occurred at the worst time. It didn’t happen a month or week before the Masters. Instead, it was the day before.
Johnson is the world’s reigning U.S. Open Champion and has won three straight starts. Wednesday night at its annual awards dinner, the Golf Writers Association of America was planning on honoring Johnson’s 2016 season when he was named the PGA Player of the Year.
The 32-year-old did catch one lucky break, he has more time to recover than nearly every other golfer slated to play in the tournament. Johnson is currently scheduled to tee off in Thursday’s final group with Bubba Watson and Jimmy Walker at 2:03 pm EST. As a result, the PGA star will have a little more time to get healthy before he has to tee off, if he is able to.
With how well he’s been playing as of late, Johnson understandably was eager to compete in the Masters.
“I’ve got a lot of confidence in my game right now, especially with the way I’ve been playing the last few tournaments,” Johnson said Tuesday. “But, you know, anything can happen.”
Something did happen, and unfortunately it may cause Johnson to miss the Masters for the second time in his career. Back in 2012 Johnson had to miss the famous tournament after he hurt his back reportedly lifting a jet-ski.