AUGUSTA, Ga. — The particular Masters is always met with a lot of anticipation, yet Dustin Johnson can be looking forward to it more than most, along with good reason.
Last year, Johnson was playing the best golfing of his life, a winner associated with three straight starts and the preferred going into the year’ s 1st major.
After that his sock-covered feet met a couple of slippery wooden steps.
Johnson’ s agent, Brian Winkle, was having a late lunchtime and a beer with his wife, Betsy, and another agent at Carolina Ale House a few miles through Augusta National on a rainy Wed afternoon when he called Manley and left a message about how they need to take Johnson’ s courtesy vehicle to the annual Golf Writers Organization of America awards dinner close to 6 that night to pick up their PGA Tour Player of the Season award. The speech was already created.
A few minutes later on, Johnson called back.
“ It was real noisy because of all the people and the rainfall, ” Winkle recalled. “ We said, ‘ Hang on, I have to go outside. ’ He mentioned, ‘ I just fell real poor. ’ I said, ‘ A person fell?! How bad? ’ He or she said, ‘ Bad. ’ We said, ‘ Oh shit, I’ ll be right there’ and am ran back in and told all of them Dustin just fell. They requested how bad, and I told all of them I didn’ t know yet to just stay there and I’ d be back. ”
It was around 3 l. m. that day when Manley, who was joined at the house simply by his chef; brother and caddie A. J.; and fiancé electronic Paulina Gretzky, decided to move their car out of the garage to make area for the couple’ s nanny, who had been on her way back from day care using their 2-year-old son, Tatum. As he took place the three steps leading out of the area, his foot came out from beneath him like a cartoon character, and he broke his back and both elbows for the hard wood. Paulina was upstairs plus heard the thud. A. M. did, too, and when he obtained there found Dustin red-faced, exhausted and writhing in pain. Manley thought he’ d broken their back.
Toby Redington/Getty Images
When Winkle arrived, Johnson was propped up on the couch, a cushion under his legs and appeared out of it. The mood in the area was solemn. Also there were Johnson’ s trainer Joey Diovilsalvi, Doctor Ara Suppiah and physical counselor Mark Wahl. They treated Johnson’ s back and hoped he’ deb be better by morning.
“ I bet I got three hundred messages between texts, calls plus emails, ” said Winkle, who also turned his phone off for approximately 30 minutes that night to enjoy an interrupted wedding anniversary with his spouse over a pizza. When he converted the phone back on the messages held coming. “ CNN wanted to understand what time Dustin would be arriving at the particular course so they could have a team there. ”
When Johnson arrived at Augusta Nationwide the next day, he gingerly walked towards the physical-therapy trailer, received treatment that will including cupping on his back, after which headed to the range. Though he has been still sore, he said has been “ gonna give it a go” and made his way to the particular putting green behind the first tee. A short time later, he told Winkle it hurt when he strolled and that he had been having a difficult experience hitting shots. Winkle’ s assistance was that while the decision was as much as Johnson, risking the entire year wasn’ capital t worth one week or even one day. It had been then that Johnson turned to Winkle and let him know to tell officials he or she was out. Winkle went to media committee members Rob Johnston and Tom Nelson and with the lump in his throat said, “ He’ s out, guys. ”
Getty Images (3)
“ Which was hard, ” Winkle said. “ Knowing what this week means to Dustin, We knew he was dying within. I’ m not a believer in every area of your life or golf owing you anything at all, but I think things happen for any reason and think maybe the particular golf gods will look favorably upon him this week. ”
Johnson said it required six months for him to get on the injury, which prevented him through turning all the way through his shots plus led to a shorter swing, together with his hands sometimes prone to pulling the particular ball.
“ His swing is just now widening again, ” says Claude Harmon, Johnson’ s instructor.
It has shown in the outcomes, too. Johnson won the first FedEx Cup Playoffs event, The North Trust, in August and 8 weeks later added a runner-up within China. He opened this year having a win in Maui and completed second at Pebble Beach a couple weeks later.
“ Last year I was about as assured as I’ ve ever been, therefore [my confidence level] was most likely a 10, ” Johnson said. “ This year, it’ s probably the 9½. ”
His planning for this year’ s Masters went smoothly so far, too. Johnson performed 36 holes with Michael Jordan on the Floridian last Friday and didn’ capital t miss a fairway, followed by the round with President Donald Trump at Trump International in close by West Palm Beach a day afterwards.
He’ h also staying in a different house plus eager to get another crack with Augusta National, where he finished T6 in 2015 and T-4 within 2016.
“ Well, I mean, yeah, because We get asked it every day away here on the range or strolling down the fairway, ” Johnson stated when asked if he considered the mishap when he came for this year’ s tournament. “ I’ m reminded all the time. Therefore , yeah, I definitely was considering it. It is what it is. It was kind of only a freak thing and it happened, there’ s nothing I can do about this except I’ m here this season, hopefully I can tee it up upon Thursday, and definitely be looking forward to that particular.
“ Yes, it’ s good. Starting to golf swing it a lot better. Feeling a lot better in the golf course, for sure. ”
Off it, too.