Dustin Johnson says he had no choice but to withdraw from the Masters, as he simply could not make a full swing because of theback injuryhe suffered in a fall on the eve of the year's first major.
Johnson, the world No. 1,injured his lower back Wednesday when he fell down the stairs at his rental home in Augusta, Ga., but initially looked set to tee off in round one.
However, the pre-tournament favorite ultimately was unable to commit to playing and dulyshared his frustration with reporters.
"I just slipped going down the stairs and landed on my lower back. It's just really tight," explained the American who came into this week having won each of his last three PGA Tour starts.
"I was making some swings on the range, I could go max about 80 percent and it's still just so tight, it just wouldn't let me ... I couldn't get through.
"The backswing was fine, I could make a good backswing, but every time down, like right at impact,it would just catch. I just don't feel like there was any chance of me even competing.
"It hurts. I was doing everything I could to try and play. Last night, ice, heat, ice - I was up pretty much all night trying to get it ready for today. I've been worked on all morning and obviously I canmake some swings, it's just Ican't swing full, I can't make my normal swing.
"Obviously I want to play, more than anything ... but I just can't swing the club."
Asked to elaborate on how he got injured, headded: "Tatum [Johnson'sson]was on the way home from daycare and it was pouring down with rain, so I was gonna gomove the car. I was just wearing my socks and I walked and I just slipped as I was going down the stairs.
"It actually would have been better if it had been a full set of stairs because I probably would have just slid down it, but it was only three, so I kind of landed right on the bottom. My left elbow is swollen and bruised,and I landed on the left side of my lower back, that sort of took the brunt of it.
"It sucks —I wanna play. I'm playing probably the best golf of my career and this is one of my favorite tournaments of the year,I look forward to it every year. To have a freak accident happen yesterday afternoon after I got back from the course, it sucks —it really does. It sucks really bad."
Johnson does not expect to miss any further events and said: "It feels likeinprobablytwo days I'll be fine. If it had happened on Monday I don't think we'd have any issues, but it happened on Wednesday afternoon. It would have been great if it had happened after this, because I've [got] two weeks off.
"I didn't get much sleep. But that's not an issue —I'm not tired, I want to play. The issue is I just can't swing."