In a staggering 11th-hour development, the agent for World No. 1 Dustin Johnson fell down a staircase and injured his back on Wednesday at his rental property in Augusta, throwing his availability for The Masters into doubt.
According to Johnson’s manager, the star was wearing socks on a hardwood floor and slipped on the stars.
“He landed very hard on his lower back and is now resting, although quite uncomfortably,” David Winkle said in an email. “He has been advised to remain immobile and begin a regiment of anti-inflammatory medication and icing, with the hope of being able to play tomorrow.”
Johnson is scheduled to tee off in the last group of the day Thursday at 2:03 p.m. local time alongside Bubba Watson and Jimmy Walker.
Johnson, winner of his last three starts on the PGA Tour since taking the No. 1 ranking, saw his odds to win the Masters drop from 11-2 to 7-1.
The bitter irony is that Johnson should have had been at the course to play nine holes on Wednesday, but rain storms canceled activity.
If he cannot go tomorrow, he will be only the fourth No. 1 to miss a Major while holding the top spot, the others being Rory McIlroy, Greg Norman, and Tiger Woods.