Dustin Johnson withdraws from Masters with back injury
Apr 07 2017 by Dustin Murphy
Then Charley Hoffman delivered a surprise of his own.
"I obviously wasn't going to hit it in the water again so I just went over the green - you don't have much depth there - and from there it's very hard".
"Obviously, I want to play more than anything", Johnson said.
But something happened when Hoffman approached the par-three sixth hole at one-over par.
"I was a bit surprised at how loud the cheer was when my ball ended about 35 feet away from the hole but I was relieved to see it down on the green", said Spieth.
Hoffman is familiar with playing well at Augusta National; he was in the penultimate group in the final round in 2015 but shot 74 and ended up 10 shots behind victor Jordan Spieth. There are eight players at one under, including Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia. He saved two tough pars after missing the green in the wrong spots on Nos. A bogey on the 17th hole left Henley at 1-under par, matching his second lowest score in 11 career rounds at Augusta National.
Telling were the comments Johnson had made on Tuesday, when he was talking about the state of his game after three straight victories. I was just wearing my socks and I walked and I just slipped as I was going down the stairs.
He tried to play.
The 29-year-old found the green with his fourth shot and two-putted for a six, making him the first defending champion to start with a double bogey since hole-by-hole records began being collected in 1983. But that's as far as Johnson got. "He was up and moving around and definitely going in the right direction".
"I could swing maybe 70 percent ... max and it still hurt", Johnson told ESPN. Three years ago, when Tiger Woods missed.
"I think I learned a lot about the golf course today and the expectation for where to take advantage and where not to", Spieth said. "But it happened Wednesday", he said. "It really does. It sucks really bad".
Johnson was understandably disappointed about having to withdraw.
Earlier, 2013 Masters victor Adam Scott battled to a three-over-par 75.
Johnson took some guarded swings for about 15 minutes, returned to the PGA Tour's physiotherapy trailer for 10 minutes, then returned to the range and used progressively longer clubs beginning with wedges and finishing with driver.