When Dustin Johnson woke up Wednesday morning, he was one of the world's hottest players and among the favorites to win this week's Masters, the year's first major.
Later that day, Johnson said he slipped on the wooden stairs at the Augusta home he rented for the week, injuring his lower back and leaving his elbow bruised. He wanted to try and play and showed up the Augusta National on Thursday with the intention of doing so, but withdrew minutes before his tee time, leaving the event without one of its biggest stars.
He could only swing at about 80 percent, he said.
"It sucks," Johnson said. "Obviously, I want to play more than anything. It hurts. I was going everything I could to try and play."
It was shocking, and Johnson even added that in a few days, he'd likely be fine. But he's not alone. Here are some other stars who suffered injuries on the eve of big moments in their careers.
Kenyon Martin, 2000
Martin was college basketball's consensus player of the year and led Cincinnati to No. 1 in the polls, despite hailing from Conference USA. The Bearcats were 28-2 entering the conference tournament, but Martin suffered a broken leg in a 10-point upset loss to Saint Louis, a team it beat by 43 points five days earlier. The selection committee knew Martin would miss the tournament and Bob Huggins' team got bumped down to a No. 2 seed. Cincy beat UNC-Wilmington in Round 1 but saw their season end with an upset loss to No. 7 seed Tulsa in Round 2.
Willis Reed, 1970
The New York Knicks big man suffered a torn thigh muscle in the 1970 NBA Finals and missed Game 6, a 22-point loss to the Lakers. He couldn't just sit and watch Game 7, though. Reed hobbled out for warmups, then provided one of the most memorable sports moments of the last century.
Reed started the game, hit his first two shots and didn't score again over his 27 minutes on the floor, but he helped provide an emotional boost that pushed the Knicks to the franchise's first title with a 113-99 Game 7 win.
Derek Carr, 2016
The hit was painful to watch. The aftermath was worse. The Oakland Raiders were hot last season behind quarterback Carr and his duo of receivers in Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper, winning 10 of their last 12 games heading into Week 16 on Christmas Eve against the Colts. But Carr went down early in the fourth quarter, and though the Raiders won that game, they lost in Week 17 and fell to Houston in the AFC Wild Card round.
Nancy Kerrigan, 1994
Why? So Tonya Harding would have a better shot at Olympic gold, that's why. Kerrigan didn't know the answer to the million dollar question when an associate of Harding's ex-husband, Jeff Gilooly, whacked her right knee with a police baton. Kerrigan was in Detroit, readying to compete for the U.S Championships, but had to withdraw from the event after the attack.
Harding won the U.S. title, and despite Kerrigan's withdrawal, her peers agreed that she deserved a spot on the U.S. team instead of second-place finisher Michelle Kwan, and she recovered quickly.
However, once the Olympics in Lilehammer arrived, Ukrainian Oksana Baiul bested Kerrigan for the gold. Harding finished eighth. In June, almost six months after the attack, a United States Figure Skating Association investigation ruled that Harding knew about the attack before it happened. They stripped her of her title and banned her for life as both a competitor and a coach. She avoided jail time for the incident by pleading guilty in March to conspiring to hinder prosecution of the attackers. She received probation, community service and a $160,000 fine.
Russell Westbrook, 2013
Kevin Durant and Westbrook helped the Thunder earn the West's top seed, but with one questionable, pesky steal attempt, Houston's Patrick Beverley became one of the most hated people ever in Oklahoma City.
Westbrook suffered a torn meniscus and didn't return the rest of the playoffs. Though the Thunder bested the No. 8 seed Rockets in the first round, they weren't the same with Reggie Jackson taking over for their high-flying point guard.
No. 5 seed Memphis knocked out the Thunder in Round 2, ending one of OKC's best chances at the franchise's first title.
Kerri Strugg, 1996
At the Atlanta Olympics, the U.S. women's gymnastics team needed a mostly solid score from Strugg on vault to secure the gold. She injured her ankle on her first attempt after botching the landing and the score fell short of what the U.S. needed.
She had to go again, and managed to land a vault after limping up to the runway. She immediately winced in pain and held her landing on her right foot before collapsing to her knees. She'd suffered ligament damage and a third-degree sprain, but her coach, Bela Karolyi, carried her onto a victorious podium for the Americans to accept the gold.
Kirk Gibson, 1988
Gibson had suffered a left hamstring and right knee injury during the Dodgers' National League Championship Series win that postseason and wasn't supposed to play in the World Series. For most of Game 1, he was watching the game on TV in the clubhouse, not even in the dugout. Ironically, after the broadcast mentioned his absense, Gibson passed word along to manager Tommy Lasorda that he was available to pinch hit.
Manager Tommy Lasorda called on Gibson to come to the plate with a runner on first base in the ninth, with the Dodgers down by one. He struggled through most of the at-bat, clearly hobbled, before connecting with a pitch from Dennis Eckersley, giving the Dodgers a walk-off win and sending them on their way to a shocking upset win over the A's in five games. He wasn't playing possum: It ended up being Gibson's only at-bat in the entire series.
Barret Robbins, 2002
The day before Super Bowl XXXVII between the Raiders and Buccaneers, reports surfaced that Oakland starting center Robbins had disappeared. We later learned he'd traveled from San Diego to Tijuana, Mexico; he'd been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and depression in the past, but he stopped taking his medication the week of the game and had a manic episode.
Robbins had left for Tijuana to celebrate the Super Bowl win he thought had already happened, but when he returned that night, coach Bill Callahan left him off the roster and the troubled star ended up in a San Diego hospital. He re-earned his starting job the next season, but he didn't play in the Super Bowl and the Raiders were embarrassed in a 48-21 loss.
Bob Baun, 1964
The Detroit Red Wings had a 3-2 series lead on the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Stanley Cup Final when a Gordie Howe slapshot ricocheted off defenseman Baun's ankle. It was broken, and Baun left the game on a stretcher. Nobody expected to see him again, but he came back later in the game, eventually scoring the game-winner in overtime.
He wasn't done: He played in the Game 7 win, too, before revealing his ankle was broken.