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Dustin Johnson withdraws from Masters 2017 after injuring his back in fall

'It was an unbelievably difficult decision'

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Dustin Johnson of the United States practices on the range prior to his tee time for the first round of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 6, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Dustin Johnson of the United States practices on the range prior to his tee time for the first round of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 6, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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Dustin Johnson of the United States practices on the range prior to his tee time for the first round of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 6, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

World number one Dustin Johnson has withdrawn from the Masters after injuring his back in a fall on Wednesday.

Johnson looked set to tee off shortly after 2pm local time despite the back injury he suffered in a "serious fall" in his rented house on Wednesday afternoon.

However, the US Open champion then left the first tee and headed into the clubhouse, leaving Bubba Watson and Jimmy Walker to tee off in the final group.

Johnson had earlier gone through a short initial warm-up on the range before receiving treatment, the 32-year-old then returning to the range and appearing more at ease as he hit shots under the watchful eye of coach Butch Harmon.

The US Open champion slipped on a small set of stairs as he went to move his car and landed heavily on his back and left elbow.

He was able to complete a warm-up on the range on Thursday under the watchful eye of coach Butch Harmon and looked set to compete, only to suddenly leave the first tee and head back into the clubhouse.

"It sucks," said Johnson, who also missed the 2012 Masters after reportedly injuring his back lifting a jet-ski. "My heart is in it and wants to play. I'm playing the best golf of my life and to have a freak accident happen yesterday afternoon, it sucks really bad.

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"I have been worked on all morning and obviously I can take some swings, but I can't swing full, I can't make my normal swing and I didn't think there was any chance I could compete.

"I could swing maybe 70 per cent and it still hurt. The backswing was fine, it was at impact and through impact where it would catch. My left elbow is swollen and bruised, but my back took the brunt of it.

"This is an event I look forward to every year and the worst part is I feel like in two days I'm going to be fine. By Saturday or Sunday I'm going to be fine and playing golf again.

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AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 07:  Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland lines up a putt on the second hole during the second round of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 07: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland lines up a putt on the second hole during the second round of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

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AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 07: Danny Willett of England reacts on the first hole during the second round of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 07: Danny Willett of England reacts on the first hole during the second round of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 07:  Danny Willett of England talks with caddie Jonathan Smart  before making a triple bogey on the first hole during the second round of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 07: Danny Willett of England talks with caddie Jonathan Smart before making a triple bogey on the first hole during the second round of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 07:  Rickie Fowler of the United States reacts on the 13th green during the second round of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 07: Rickie Fowler of the United States reacts on the 13th green during the second round of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 07:  Jason Day of Australia plays a shot out of a bunker on the 13th hole during the second round of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 07: Jason Day of Australia plays a shot out of a bunker on the 13th hole during the second round of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 07:  Martin Kaymer of Germany reacts on the 18th green during the second round of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 07: Martin Kaymer of Germany reacts on the 18th green during the second round of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 07:  Jordan Spieth of the United States plays his second shot on the 17th hole during the second round of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 07: Jordan Spieth of the United States plays his second shot on the 17th hole during the second round of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

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 Rory McIlroy plays a shot from a greenside bunker on the second hole during the first round of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 6, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy plays a shot from a greenside bunker on the second hole during the first round of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 6, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland, watches his tee shot on the 12th hole during the first round for the Masters golf tournament Thursday, April 6, 2017, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland, watches his tee shot on the 12th hole during the first round for the Masters golf tournament Thursday, April 6, 2017, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

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AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 06:  Charley Hoffman of the United States recats to his birdie on the 15th green during the first round of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 6, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 06: Charley Hoffman of the United States recats to his birdie on the 15th green during the first round of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 6, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 06:  Russell Knox of Scotland plays a shot on the second hole during the first round of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 6, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 06: Russell Knox of Scotland plays a shot on the second hole during the first round of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 6, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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Lee Westwood, of England, hits from a bunker on the 12th hole during the first round for the Masters golf tournament Thursday, April 6, 2017, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Lee Westwood, of England, hits from a bunker on the 12th hole during the first round for the Masters golf tournament Thursday, April 6, 2017, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

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AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 06:  Fred Couples of the United States looks on from the 18th green during the first round of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 6, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 06: Fred Couples of the United States looks on from the 18th green during the first round of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 6, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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Charley Hoffman hits a shot on the 17th hole during the first round for the Masters golf tournament Thursday, April 6, 2017, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Charley Hoffman hits a shot on the 17th hole during the first round for the Masters golf tournament Thursday, April 6, 2017, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

AP

Shane Lowry of Ireland, watches his tee shot on the 12th hole during the first round for the Masters golf tournament Thursday, April 6, 2017, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Shane Lowry of Ireland, watches his tee shot on the 12th hole during the first round for the Masters golf tournament Thursday, April 6, 2017, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

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Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland, reacts to a missed putt on the 14th hole during the first round for the Masters golf tournament Thursday, April 6, 2017, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland, reacts to a missed putt on the 14th hole during the first round for the Masters golf tournament Thursday, April 6, 2017, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

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Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland putts on the first green during the first round of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 6, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland putts on the first green during the first round of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 6, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

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Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and Jon Rahm of Spain stand on the first green during the first round of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 6, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and Jon Rahm of Spain stand on the first green during the first round of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 6, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

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Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland skips his ball across the pond on the 16th hole during a practice round prior to the start of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 5, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland skips his ball across the pond on the 16th hole during a practice round prior to the start of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 5, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy reacts to his birdie putt attempt on the sixth green during a practice round at the Masters golf tournament, Tuesday, April 4, 2017, in Augusta, Ga. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

Rory McIlroy reacts to his birdie putt attempt on the sixth green during a practice round at the Masters golf tournament, Tuesday, April 4, 2017, in Augusta, Ga. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

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AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 04:  Bernhard Langer of Germany crosses the Nelson bridge with caddie Terry Holt during a practice round prior to the start of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 4, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 04: Bernhard Langer of Germany crosses the Nelson bridge with caddie Terry Holt during a practice round prior to the start of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 4, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

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AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 04:  Rod Pampling of the United States plays a shot during a practice round prior to the start of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 4, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 04: Rod Pampling of the United States plays a shot during a practice round prior to the start of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 4, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

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AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 04:  Daniel Summerhays of the United States and his caddie Nickolas Jones walk during a practice round prior to the start of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 4, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 04: Daniel Summerhays of the United States and his caddie Nickolas Jones walk during a practice round prior to the start of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 4, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 03: Francesco Molinari of Italy and his caddie walk over the Hogan Bridge during a practice round prior to the start of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 3, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 03: Francesco Molinari of Italy and his caddie walk over the Hogan Bridge during a practice round prior to the start of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 3, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

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AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 03:  Jason Day of Australia,Yuta Ikeda of Japan and Sandy Lyle of  Scotland on the 16th hole during a practice round prior to the start of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 3, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 03: Jason Day of Australia,Yuta Ikeda of Japan and Sandy Lyle of Scotland on the 16th hole during a practice round prior to the start of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 3, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 03:  Danny Willett of England looks on during a practice round prior to the start of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 3, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 03: Danny Willett of England looks on during a practice round prior to the start of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 3, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 03:  Lee Warne, caddie for Alex Noren (not pictured), is seen during a practice round prior to the start of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 3, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 03: Lee Warne, caddie for Alex Noren (not pictured), is seen during a practice round prior to the start of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 3, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

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AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 03:  Thomas Pieters of Belgium pulls his putter from his bag during a practice round prior to the start of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 3, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 03: Thomas Pieters of Belgium pulls his putter from his bag during a practice round prior to the start of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 3, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 03:  Bernhard Langer of Germany putts as his caddie looks on during a practice round prior to the start of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 3, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 03: Bernhard Langer of Germany putts as his caddie looks on during a practice round prior to the start of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 3, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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He’s done it: Sergio Garcia at moment of Augusta victory

"It was an unbelievably difficult decision (to withdraw)."

Speaking about the accident, Johnson added: "Tatum (his son) was on the way home from day care. And 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. It actually would have been better if it had been the first set of stairs, because I probably would have slid right down it, but it was only three, so I landed right on the bottom."

Johnson won the Genesis Open in February to reach World No.1 and then added victories in the WGC-Mexico Championship and WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.


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