World No.1 Dustin Johnson has withdrawn from the 2017 Masters following a back injury he suffered on Wednesday afternoon.
Johnson came in to the tournament as the favourite with three back-to-back wins, but a freak accident has ended his hopes to win the first major of the year.
Despite clearly suffering in pain and struggling on the range as his brother and caddie Austin teed up golf balls for him in practice, it momentarily looked optmistic as DJ announced that he would try to play.
However, once he had walked to the first tee, he came to the conclusion that he was in too much pain to continue and was forced to withdraw from the tournament.
Evidently gutted, Dustin Johnson told the press "I can't swing full, I can't make my normal swing and I didn't think there was any chance I could compete."
"It sucks. It really does," he said. "It feels like in probably two days I’ll be fine. I want to play. The issue is I just can’t swing."
"My elbow is bruised and thats fine but its the lower back. We treated it all last night and this morning. I could swing maybe 70% max and it still hurt. The back-swing is fine but its impact and through impact where it catches."
"My heart is in it and wants to play but the more I thought about it the more I just knew I wouldn't have any chance."
"It's unbelievably difficult. This is one of my favourite tournaments of the year and I feel like I'm playing the best golf of my career. I feel really sad about it. I wanted to play, I wanted to try and play but I'm not going to be able to compete like this."
His coach Butch Harmon said: "He said he was going to walk over there and and he was going to see if his body would let him hit the first shot."
"He decided, if I cannot at least get the ball in play and get around I'm wasting my time and don't want to embarrass myself out there. It looks like he just realised he couldn't go"
“I said to him, ‘If you don’t feel like your body will let you play then don’t do it. I know it’s a Major and you want to play but don’t do it if it hurts your body. If you feel you can’t make a swing then don’t do it"