Dustin Johnson had a freak accident at his rental home in Augusta on Wednesday afternoon. He slipped and fell down the stairs and injured his lower back. As of now, it’s unclear if he’ll be able to play, but it sounds like he will try.
I can’t think of much to say, except, “Wow, crazy, holy sh*t.” I’m seriously pretty speechless. I mean, really, DJ??? This is seriously unbelievable news. And this is not a joke. My second thought was how it probably screwed up a lot of people’s pools, picks, bets, etc. because DJ was the betting favorite, of course. One friend said he had DJ in four different match-ups or something. That sucks, but obviously, those things are of little importance — his health and wellbeing is our main concern, of course.
Here’s the statement released by his agent David Winkle:
“At roughly 3:00 pm 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 regimen of 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.”
Wow. I can’t think of another word to describe the situation. When I texted the news to a bunch of Tour types, that was their response, too. I think we’re all shaking our heads a bit, too — like, what the heck?? Really, dude? I, of all people, should be more sympathetic to freak accidents.
Who knows what transpired, but I know it poured at Augusta National for most of the day. The start of the Par-3 Contest was delayed due to inclement weather and the grounds were closed from 10am – 12:30pm. The course and practice facilities reopened briefly until more storms in the area forced Augusta National Golf Club to suspend play and then evacuate the grounds at 1:25pm for the remainder of the day. (Sucks for fans who only had Wednesday tickets.)
Given the wet conditions, it’s obviously easy to see how DJ might have slipped due to his soaked shoes and/or the floor was damp from everyone dragging in their rain-drenched, soggy gear.
Like I said, I should have some more empathy for DJ instead of shaking my head and thinking, “How in the world does that happen the day before the Masters?” I had a freak accident last fall and took a really hard tumble down a steep flight of stairs (weird part was that I wasn’t even trying to go down the stairs and instead slipped on something else that sent me flying toward and then down the stairs). It was like slo-mo as I was falling because it hurt like hell and the only thing going through my mind was, “OMG, holy crap, this is how people break their necks.”
It was actually a huge relief when I finally landed on my lower back on my part and the other on my upper back, right under my neck. But I couldn’t move the next day. Obviously, DJ is much more of an athlete than me and I already have a chronic back injury/pain, but without knowing the extent of the fall, I can still imagine how painful it is. And actually, it doesn’t even need to be a long and steep staircase, sometimes just slipping on a few steps and landing on your back causes enough discomfort.
The forecast for Thursday won’t be favorable for a sore back, as the forecast calls for a high of 62-degrees and winds of 20-30mph, with gusts of 30-40mph.
What might potentially be a silver lining for DJ is that he’s schedule to be in the last grouping Thursday and doesn’t tee off until 2:08pm. At least he isn’t teeing off at like 8am in the cold and he’ll have extra time to rest.
Again, we don’t know the extent of it, but as longtime readers know, I’m one of the clumsiest people ever and I’ve experienced my fair share of falls, so I know that the slightest fall down just a few stairs and landing on your lower back causes all sorts of chaos and pain. Even if the pain subsides, there’s a chance it will throw off his rhythm and feel.
I’m speculating here, but my guess is he tries to play through it and ends up withdrawing. But HOPEFULLY, I’m wrong and he’s such an athlete that he’ll bounce back and cruise to his first green jacket.
Best wishes to Team DJ.