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Masters report: Dustin Johnson’s status in doubt after hurting back in fall

April 6, 2017 GMT

AUGUSTA, Ga. - Masters favorite Dustin Johnson took a serious fall on a staircase Wednesday and injured his lower back, and his manager said it was uncertain whether the world’s No. 1 golfer would be able to play the tournament.

David Winkle, his manager at Hambric Sports, said Johnson fell on the stairs at the home he is renting in Augusta.

“He landed very hard on his lower back and is now resting, although quite uncomfortably,” Winkle said in an email. “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.”

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What might help Johnson is that he is in the last group for the opening round, scheduled to tee off at 2:03 p.m.

Rain doesn’twipe out all fun

While severe weather canceled the Masters’ popular Par 3 Contest for the first time, Bubba Watson was able to get on the course with his two children before it was shut down.

Watson and former U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson were first off the tee at Augusta National’s par-3 layout in between major storms. The start of the Par 3 Contest was delayed, but the two major champions made it through the nine-hole course, along with their wives and a total of six children: the Watsons’ two and the Simpsons’ four.

Watson had 5-year-old son Caleb as his personal marshal, the youngster extending his arms skyward whenever his father or playing partner Simpson would putt.

The storm siren sounded soon after the Watson-Simpson group finished, and officials called off play and evacuated the grounds for the rest of the day. No winner was declared, meaning no one was saddled with the dreaded curse - no Par 3 Contest winner has ever gone on to capture the green jacket.

Special badgeto honor Palmer

Those attending the first round of the Masters on Thursday will receive a commemorative badge designed to honor Arnold Palmer, according to Augusta National chairman Billy Payne

Palmer, a four-time Masters champ, died in September last year at the age of 87.

The button is white with “I am a member of Arnie’s Army” written in green.

Palmer’s wins at the Masters were widely credited with helping to popularize golf.

From wire reports

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