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Weather, DJ’s fall should make for wild 1st round at Masters

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AP

Published 3:17 a.m. ET April 6, 2017 | Updated 2 hours ago

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Strong winds and a fall down a staircase by the Masters pre-tournament favorite could change the complexion of the season’s first major.

Dustin Johnson, the world’s No. 1-ranked golfer, injured his lower back late Wednesday afternoon in what his agent described as a “serious” fall down the staircase at a home he’d rented for the week. Johnson goes off in the last group for Thursday’s opening round, but even the late 2:03 p.m. starting time may not give him enough time to recover.

“He landed very hard on his lower back and is now resting, although quite uncomfortably,” David Winkle, Johnson’s agent 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.”

Johnson has won his last three starts. His questionable status further scrambled what was already predicted to be a wild first round.

The weather forecast for the region , socked by powerful storms two of the last three days, calls for cool, overcast skies and steady winds of 20-30 mph, with gusts up to 40 mph. Augusta National can bedevil the world’s best in tame conditions. But strong winds make hitting fairways and approach shots even tougher, and if the greens dry out, putting can turn treacherous.

Johnson was at the club earlier in the day to practice before the wave of storms forced Masters officials to close the course. Coincidentally,…

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