DEJECTED: Dustin Johnson walks off the first tee after deciding not to play in the opening round of the Masters.
DEJECTED: Dustin Johnson walks off the first tee after deciding not to play in the opening round of the Masters. Brant Sanderlin

Dejected Johnson laments withdrawing from Masters

IF the Masters started today, Dustin Johnson probably could have played.

But the world number one, who slipped down some wet stairs while walking around in socks in a rented Augusta house on Wednesday night, will have to wait another 12 months to get the green jacket most pundits picked him to take this weekend.

Johnson, who had won all his past three events and was a raging Masters favourite, turned up a couple of hours before his first round tee time, but couldn't even tee up his own balls on the driving range his injured back was so bad.

He was dressed to play however, all in Masters green, so headed to the first tee, only to turn around after two practice swings after which the other 92 contenders found reason to smile.

"I'm playing probably the best golf of my career, and I look forward to this tournament every year. And to have a freak accident happen yesterday afternoon after I got back from the course, it's tough," Johnson said.

"It was pouring down rain, so I was going to go move the car, I was just wearing my socks. So I just slipped as I was going down the stairs.

"I landed right on the bottom. My left elbow is swollen and bruised. I landed on my left side.

"If it happened on Monday, I don't think we would have any issues but it happened Wednesday afternoon."

Adam Scott said it was "really sad" and that it must have "really hurt" for Johnson to sacrifice a shot at the Masters.

But it did really hurt, Johnson couldn't even sleep and now he has plenty of time to recover before he returns to beat everyone again.

"It would have been great if it'd happened after this because I have three weeks off," he said.

"I want to play, the issue is I just can't swing."

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