Dustin Johnson had to withdraw from The Masters, but he appears set to make a reasonably quick return.
The 32-year-old underwent intensive treatment overnight and into Thursday morning but, after struggling to swing at more than 80 per cent on the practice range, Johnson took the agonising decision to pull out of the first major of the year. He showed up Thursday morning to give it a try, but Johnson wound up withdrawing before teeing a ball on the first hole. Johnson has 15 PGA Tour wins since joining the tour in 2008.
For those fretting that Dustin Johnson's back injury would be a long-term issue, there's no longer reason for concern. He is targeting a return next month at the Wells Fargo Championship.
Johnson became the first No. 1-ranked player to miss a major since Rory McIlroy missed The Open in 2015 because of an ankle injury and the first to miss the Masters since Tiger Woods could not compete in 2014 because of back surgery.
Johnson's longtime agent, David Winkle, had previously told Golfweek on Masters Sunday that Johnson was home and recovering. Those three tournaments are in consecutive weeks.
Johnson has only played in the Wells Fargo Championship three times, the last time in 2011. Time off when playing well is a typically a negative, but even if he was fully healthy Johnson may not have played on tour much in the next few weeks post-Masters.