Johnson caps off record weekend with first Masters victory

Masters golf champion Dustin Johnson poses in front of the Augusta National Golf Course clubhouse following his victory Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020, in Augusta, Ga. Photo by David J. Phillip/AP Photo.

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson absolutely dominated the field in this November Masters tournament to take home his first green jacket and the second major of his career. His nearly flawless performance propelled him to a five-stroke victory over Cameron Smith and Sungjae Im. 

This 2020 Masters was historic for many reasons, even beyond the autumn start time. Johnson made history by finishing the tournament at -20, the lowest score in Masters history, which broke the 18-under record set by Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth. His 20-under par finish is also the lowest major championship final score in history, tied with Jason Day and Henrik Stenson. Second place finisher Smith also made history by becoming the first player in the history of the Masters to shoot in the 60s every day of the tournament. Despite this impressive finish, he still finished a whopping five shots behind Johnson. 

Johnson’s two consecutive early bogeys on the fourth and fifth holes brought back some painful memories to many viewers, who know all too well about the multiple collapses in major tournaments in DJ’s storied career. The 82 at Pebble Beach and the missed putt on the final hole in a duel against Spieth were familiar for many viewers. However, Johnson was able to regain his composure and reverse the narrative. He ultimately finished five under the rest of the way and set another record, completing the Masters with the fewest bogeys in history, only recording a total of four on the weekend. He now adds a green jacket to his already impressive resumé, and joins Spieth as the only other player to capture the Masters and the Tour Championship in the same year. 

Woods, the defending champion, started off strong on Thursday but was unable to find the magic of last year during his outing in 2020. His miserable weekend was summed up best by an absolutely disastrous 10 on the famous par-3 12th hole, in which he splashed into Rae’s Creek three times before finally holing out. He was able to birdie five out of the last six holes, but he still finished four-over on the day and a mere one-under for the tournament.  

This final major of a bizarre 2020 could have some interesting implications for the following year. If the Masters decides to play as normal in April, Johnson will only have a short five months before he has to defend his title, which would make him the shortest Masters champion in history. However, the PGA will most likely be looking to move forward as the pandemic hopefully slows down after the winter, so the future start time will be something to watch as the Tour season pushes on into 2021. 

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