Arnold Palmer won’t be the only one missing from this year’s playing of the annual Master’s Golf Tournament.
On Wednesday night, a set of just three stairs in his Augusta, Georgia rental home did what no other golfer has been able to in the last three tournaments – take down Dustin Johnson.
The night before the 81st playing of the Master’s Tournament, the world #1 was trying his best to beat the nerves. Donning socked feet, which he admitted in an ESPN interview, Johnson made the simple decision to hustle downstairs to kindly move the car for his son, who was headed home in the rain.
It was a simple decision that would change the course of this year’s tournament. Johnson slipped on the stairs, landing hard on his lower-left back and left elbow. A slew of doctors and physical therapists visited the home into late Wednesday evening, hoping quick treatment would allow him to continue with his 2pm tee-time.
Hopeful, Johnson and his caddy arrived to Augusta National around 12:15pm on Thursday afternoon. Shortly after, spectators observed as the tournament favorite couldn’t even bend, having his caddy tee up each shot. He continued his practice, however, giving hint that he could be ready by start time.
Unfortunately, during the walk to the first hole, Johnson realized there was no way he could truly compete for the green jacket and was forced to withdraw. “Obviously I was making some swings on the range, but max was 80%. … But every time down like right at impact it would catch. I just don’t feel like I have any chance of me competing. It hurts.”
Johnson eerily predicted his own downfall during an interview in which he was asked about the weight of being the Master’s favorite. “I’ve got a lot of confidence in my game right now, especially with the way I’ve been playing the last few tournaments. But, you know, anything can happen.” Not sure this is what he had in mind…
At any rate, it looks like this year the popular superstar will be watching from Amen Corner, feet propped with a pimento cheese sandwich in hand.