Dustin Johnson has sympathised with Rory McIlroy’s plight with injury this season.
Johnson, the world number one, was forced to miss the Masters having won the three events leading into the first major after falling down the stairs and injuring his back.
McIlroy’s season has been somewhat ruined by injury, as a spate of knocks have inhibited his abilities on the course.
The four-time major champion’s poor form sees him miss the final event of the PGA Tour season this week at East Lake, where Johnson will be hoping to pick up the $10m winner’s cheque.
“It sucks and I feel for Rory as I was playing so well leading into Augusta and I had everything dialled in so well heading to the Masters, so I can understand first-hand how frustrating the year has been for him,” said Johnson.
“As for myself, I was swinging the golf club the best I had ever done. I was ultra-confident having won three events in a row and everything was really solid.
“So, to get the injury I did, and it was such a freak injury, just de-railed everything for me.
“And standing here now I am still struggling to get my swing back to where it was when I got to Augusta, so it’s still not the same as it was in winning three times.
“It’s getting there but it’s not the same and it’s all due to that fall down the stairs I had. It did take a long time for my back to heal and while the back is fine now, my golf swing is still aching.
“So, I can sympathise with Rory 100% that he just wants to shut down his season. We all know, the only way any injury is going to heal properly and that is to give it rest, and even though Rory’s been playing all he is doing is aggravating the injury so he (is) wise to take a long break from the game.”
Johnson is currently third in the FedEx Cup Playoffs, and said it would be a “nice bonus” to pocket the money, but admits the prestige of winning means more to him at this stage of his career.