A Dustin Johnson masterclass put the field to the sword at Augusta National as the 36-year old American secured an overdue but most-deserved second Major title at the 84th Masters.
Those tuning in hoping for drama on the final day would’ve been momentarily excited as Johnson, who took a commanding four-stroke lead into the final round, played his first five holes in one-over after a birdie on 3 was cancelled out by back-to-back bogeys at the fourth and the fifth.
With Cameron Smith and Sungjae Im making birdies in a bid to pile on the pressure, and just as our own Rory McIlroy looked set to draw within four with his birdie at the eighth, Johnson, seemingly unflappable, arrowed his approach to the par-3 sixth to return to even par for the day and from there he never looked back.
Johnson, who had held the 54-hole lead and failed to convert four times at Major championships in recent years, never allowed doubt to creep and with his ball on a string and his putter red-hot, it would prove a procession to the Butler Cabin. The undisputed world number one added a two-putt birdie at the eighth to reach the turn under-par before hammering home his advantage with three straight birdies from the 13th to hit the 20-under par mark in a relentless display of almost robotic scoring.
To their credit, Smith and Im never wavered under the weight of pressure the back-nine at the Masters can bring but Johnson was untouchable and after making par on 16 and 17, he could enjoy the best walk in golf, five clear playing the last before signing off with a par for a round of 68, a record 20-under par winning tally and a first Major title since his maiden victory at Oakmont in the US Open of 2016.
“I was nervous all day – I could feel it,” said Johnson. “The Masters to me is the biggest tournament, it’s the one I wanted to win the most. I felt it all day and I’m just very proud of the way I handled myself and the way I finished off the golf tournament.
What a moment.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 15, 2020
“Honestly, it still feels like a dream. As a kid, you’re dreaming about winning the Masters, having Tiger put the green jacket on you… it still seems like it’s a dream but I’m here and what a great feeling it is – I couldn’t be more excited.”
Try as he might in the Butler Cabin, not even a photo montage of DJ and his brother and caddie Austin through the years could draw a tear out of the 84th Masters winner but he reserved special praise for his brother in arms who played a significant role alongside his charge in a record breaking week in Georgia.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling to experience all this with my brother,” said Johnson. “He’s been a big help being on my bag, I love him being on my bag. I wouldn’t want anyone else there. To share all these memories and moments with him is incredible and having Paulina there today too was awesome. But I had to jab him a little bit on 18 because his tearing up made me tear up. I was like, ‘I still gotta finish this off, I can’t be crying’ but it was a lot of fun and I’ll remember this for the rest of my life.”
Full scoring HERE
Listen to our Masters review Podcast with Roddy Carr by clicking the cover below or click the Apple of Spotify logos