Tuesday 20 March 2018

Johnson a doubt for Masters after falling down stairs


Dustin Johnson. Photo: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Dustin Johnson. Photo: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Liam Kelly

Liam Kelly

Masters favourite Dustin Johnson will announce this morning if he can take his place in today's opening round of the 81st Masters at Augusta.

The news he had fallen on the stairs at his rented house and injured his back came as a double shock because the course had shut down at 1.25pm local time (6.25pm Irish time) due to storms in the area.

All the players had left Augusta National and with no golf action, the atmosphere was relaxed and thoughts turned to the opening day of the Masters.

That changed when Johnson's manager, David Winkle, reported the fall and cast doubt on his player's fitness for duty.

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In the statement, Winkle said: "At roughly 3.0pm today, Dustin took a serious fall on a staircase in his Augusta rental home.

"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."

Johnson is scheduled to play in the final group of the day at 2.03pm local time (7.03 Irish) alongside two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson and Jimmy Walker, winner of last year's US PGA Championship.

He will wait as long as possible to try and make that tee time.

Johnson has been in tremendous form, winning three top tournaments his last three starts - the Genesis Open at Riviera in February, the WGC Mexico Championship and the Dell Technologies Match Play.

Yesterday, he rounded off his build up to the Masters with nine holes in a morning practice outing.

Irish Independent

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