After injuring his back on Wednesday afternoon at his rental home , world No. 1 and event favorite Dustin Johnson withdrew from the 2017 Masters right before his 2:03 p.m. ET tee time on Thursday.
Johnson went through a halfhearted warm-up session on the range that did not include chipping or putting, got some treatment and tried to tee off at No. 1, but right before he was supposed to hit, he walked back toward the clubhouse with his head down.
Incredibly, this is just the second time in the last 31 years a No. 1-ranked golfer has not played at Augusta National. The Official World Golf Rankings started in 1986.
On a day when Augusta National brought 93 participants to their knees, and Charley Hoffman shot an historic 65, somebody won the golf tournament with a 71 or 72.
Johnson had won three straight PGA Tour events coming into this major championship.
Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia lead the pack of contenders behind Hoffman, who shot an outrageous 31 on the second nine on Thursday and leads by four over William McGirt and five over Lee Westwood.
That trio got around in 1-under 71 and fought for every inch of cold, wind-swept real estate they could find on Thursday in a wacky first round.
Of those just behind these three golfers, Thomas Pieters, Paul Casey, Matt Kuchar and Rory McIlroy all shot even par. Jon Rahm, Danny Willett, Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler are all 1 over. There are 25 golfers in all at 1 over or better. With Hoffman likely to come down to Earth over the final 54 holes, this tournament will turn into a hunt.