Masters 2020: South Carolina’s Dustin Johnson secures first Masters victory

Dustin Johnson gestures on the No. 6 fairway during Practice Round 2 for the Masters at Augusta...
Dustin Johnson gestures on the No. 6 fairway during Practice Round 2 for the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club, Monday, November 9, 2020.(Logan Whitton | Logan Whitton/Augusta National)
Published: Nov. 15, 2020 at 2:52 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Finally.

The number one golfer in the world is now the Masters champion.

After a record-breaking performance at the cathedral of golf, Dustin Johnson snagged his first green jacket Sunday afternoon, finishing the day at -20.

Johnson has won plenty of major golf tournaments, but the rub against him has always been his performance at the Masters has always come up short when it mattered.

With 2020 being the year that is it, that monkey on Johnson’s back was the thing that didn’t matter this time.

Johnson’s performance at the Masters started with an opening round of -7. He had five birdies on the round on Thursday, but it was his shot at No. 2 that set him up for eagle.

Momentum at his back, Johnson entered the second round playing inspired golf and was quickly getting all the discussion that many believed was going to be reserved for Bryson DeChambeau.

Starting at the 10th hole on Friday, Johnson quickly picked up three birdies on 11, 12, and 13 and the lead with plenty of golf left in the day. Then, the monkey jumped back on Johnson’s back. Holes 14 and 15 were not kind to the South Carolina native as Johnson picked up a pair of bogeys and pulled back from the top of the leader board.

“Fourteen had a little bit of dirt on the ball and it turned right‑to‑left instead of cut. Stayed up on top of the hill, which is a spot where I knew I couldn’t hit it. Then 15, I hit a good shot. Just got a gust of the wind,” Johnson said.

Those bogeys were clearly on Johnson’s mind throughout the rest of the round as he didn’t pick up a birdie until his final hole at 9. He finished two under for the day.

Picking back up at round three on Saturday, Johnson got himself back focused and birdied at one. Then, once again, he took command at hole two with another eagle.

“Yeah, I had a good number and came out exactly where I wanted to. Landed exactly in the right spot. It’s tough to get close to that hole location, but with the soft conditions, I was able to hit a nice shot,” Johnson said. “I was actually trying to hit a little past the flag, and came up right on it. So obviously get eagle in 2, and then birdieing 3 and 4, got off to a great start and was able to continue that through the rest of the day.”

Holes three and four were easy birdies for Johnson. Johnson finished his Saturday with three more birdies and a very comfortable four stroke lead over the rest of the pack.

Then, Sunday.

Johnson made the last round of the tournament interesting very quickly, and it all started with hole two. After two eagles there during the previous rounds, it wouldn’t be presumptuous to think he could play just as well there on the last round.

As you might hear on College GameDay -- they were in town on Saturday to host the show at Augusta National -- not so fast, my friend.

Instead, Johnson went par on the hole after hitting the ball into a nearby bunker.

Johnson followed up hole two with a quick birdie, but the next two holes proved to be tough for the Columbia, South Carolina golfer. He went bogey for four and five, shrinking his lead to just one stroke.

The rest of the field noticed. Masters rookie Sung-jae Im was biting at Johnson’s heels at one point, just one stroke off the lead. Australian Cameron Smith wasn’t too far behind being only two strokes back at one point.

Even Rory McIlroy started to make some noise after starting his Masters at +3 on Thursday. The Northern Ireland phenom soared to fourth place at -11.

But Johnson calmed down, picking up birdies at 6 and 8 to extend his lead back to three strokes.

Johnson held on to the lead and extended it further to five strokes after back-to-back birdies on 13 and 14.

He went even further, breaking a Masters record by being the first player in course history to score -20.

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