Masters favorite Dustin Johnson falls, injures back on eve of opening round

The last three U.S. Open champions will play together Thursday and Friday next week at Erin Hills.

Dustin Johnson, the world's top-ranked golfer and odds-on favorite to win this weekend's Masters, injured his back during a fall on a staircase Wednesday at Augusta.

Johnson's manager David Winkle said in a statement released to the media that the golfer "hopes" to play when Round 1 begins Thursday.

"At roughly 3 p.m. today, Dustin took a serious fall on a staircase in his Augusta rental home," the statement read. "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 regimenof anti-inflammatory medication and icing, with the hope of being able to play tomorrow.

"I will refrain from commenting further until I know more about Dustin's condition."

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Johnson is scheduled to tee off at 2:03 p.m. ET Thursday with Bubba Watson and Jimmy Walker — the final group to begin the opening round.

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