Johnson withdraws from first tournament since surgery

Former Coastal Carolina golfer Dustin Johnson’s return to the PGA Tour was short-lived as he withdrew from the Humana Challenge midway through Friday’s second round.

Citing back pain, Johnson pulled out of his first event back since undergoing offseason knee surgery. After returning on Thursday, he withdrew Friday after playing the first nine holes at La Quinta (Calif.) Country Club.

Johnson, ranked the world’s No. 8 player, was the highest-rated competitor in this week’s tournament. He shot an even-par 72 on the Palmer Course on Thursday, the first time he has walked 18 holes since his knee operation.

Johnson underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in November. On Friday he complained of pain in his lower back, calling it too stiff to continue.

Johnson also skipped the PGA Tour’s first two events of the season in Hawaii while rehabbing his knee, but he says he plans to play in next week’s Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, where he is a two-time winner.

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