Dustin Johnson makes history with November win of Masters

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(AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

“Dustin Johnson stands in front of the Augusta National Golf Clubhouse after his victory at the Masters golf tournament Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020, in Augusta, Ga.” (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Kyle Kelly, Sports Editor

After moving day on Saturday, Dustin Johnson had a four-stroke lead at the 202o Masters Tournament. By the end of Sunday, Johnson had successfully protected his advantage to secure his first-ever Green Jacket.

With a score of -20, Johnson rewrote the Masters record books and defeated the field by four strokes to win the tournament, which was held from Nov. 12-15 at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia. Johnson’s total four-round score of 268 is the best score in the 84-year history of the tournament.

“Growing up so close to here, it’s always been a tournament since I’ve played on tour since I’ve played the Masters, it’s been the tournament I’ve wanted to win the most,” Johnson told reporters afterward. “Being close the last couple years — finishing second last year to Tiger [Woods] — this one was something that I really wanted to do.

“Obviously, starting Sunday with a four-shot lead, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. I knew I was going to have to play well if I wanted to win. … It was hard. I was nervous all day. I felt like I controlled myself real well.”

Following the first and second rounds, Johnson was in a four-way tie with Justin Thomas, Abraham Ancer and Cameron Smith. He quickly separated himself in round three with an eagle and two birdies on holes two through four. Johnson’s 65-stroke, bogey-free third round placed him in the driver’s seat heading into Sunday.

“I got off to a great start,” he said in the press conference following the third round. “I was able to continue that the rest of the day.”

“Dustin Johnson hits on the 15th fairway during the final round of the Masters golf tournament Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020, in Augusta, Ga.” (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) ((AP Photo/Matt Slocum))

On Sunday, Johnson began his round with a pair of pars and a birdie on three. However, adversity hit with bogeys on holes four and five. Luckily, Johnson responded with birdies on six and eight to finish the front nine -1.

“I got off to a pretty good start,” Johnson said in the post-tournament presser. “Bogey on four and five, I didn’t let it bother me. I hit nice putts. I had good looks at par on both of the holes and hit good putts. I hit a great shot into six and made a birdie and that, kind of obviously, helped the nerves a little bit. From there on out, I felt like I played really solid.”

On the back nine, Johnson pared the first three holes and then had three consecutive birdies on holes 13, 14 and 15. That stretch all but tailored the Green Jacket for him, even with three holes remaining.

“I knew if I played well from eight to the [club]house, I was going to put myself in a good position — a good chance to win,” he told the media. “I didn’t want that to affect how I played. I took what the course gave me and hit the shots that I felt like I could hit.”

“Dustin Johnson reacts after a birdie on the 13th hole during the final round of the Masters golf tournament Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020, in Augusta, Ga.” (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP) ((Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP))

Johnson was on fire in all aspects of his game. He finished the best in average greens reached in regulation (percentage of times a player reached the green in two or more strokes less than par) with 83.33% and sixth in average driving distance of the tee (306.5 yards). His score of -4 was tied for the best among the competitors on Sunday. 

By winning the Masters, Johnson took home a prize of approximately $2.1 million. With the win, he remains No. 1 in the world. This is Johnson’s second career major victory and his 24th win on the PGA Tour.

“Winning Augusta was on the very top of the list,” he said later in the press conference. “2020 has been a really strange year. It’s been good to me. I’ve played some good golf. I can’t thank Augusta enough for having the Masters. … I was happy to be here playing. It worked out O.K. for me.”