Dustin Johnson’s comeback is still on track, despite lingering pain and tightness in his back.
"It’s still a little bit bruised," Johnson said in a phone interview. "But today I hit balls, and everything was pretty good. It’s a little tight, but I can swing just fine. I was very happy with my practice session today. I was hitting it very well. Hardly any issues. I would say it’s about 85, 90 percent."
The World No. 1 withdrew from the Masters prior to teeing off in his opening round a day after injuring his back in a fall on the stairs of his rental home. Johnson went through a full warm-up on the range but ultimately decided to withdraw only minutes before his tee time.
It was a huge blow for golf fans, many of whom were hoping to watch the tournament favorite attempt to win his second major championship and fourth straight event. Johnson, too, was disappointed to be relegated to the sidelines. "I watched," he said. "I was laying on the couch or in bed, so I really couldn’t do anything else. I didn’t like watching though. That’s one thing I don’t want to do anymore."
Luckily for Johnson, he doesn't have much longer to wait to get back in the mix. Last week, he announced his intention to return to competitive play at the Wells Fargo Championship May 4-7. He had previously planned to take three weeks off after the Masters, so the extra rest and recuperation turned out to be well-timed.
"I felt good probably since about last Monday." Johnson said. "I’ve got a few weeks off, so there was just no point in rushing anything. I just kind of took it easy, just been training a little bit, taking care of it so I won’t have any issues. Today was good. I hit balls all the way through driver and I was fine, so that was very reassuring."