For the second time in his golf career, Dustin Johnson of Columbia, SC, is a major champion. However, what the world number one was able to accomplish over the last four days at the Augusta National Golf Club, was simply spectacular.
Johnson had a 72-hole score of -20. That tied him with Jason Day of Australia, and Henrik Stenson of Sweden, for the best score ever at a major championship. Day accomplished the feat at the 2015 PGA Championship from Whistling Straits, WI. Stenson meanwhile shot -20 at the 2016 British Open from Royal Troon.
In round one of the 2020 Masters, Johnson began the tournament with a score of seven-under-par 65. He was tied with England’s Paul Casey and South Africa’s Dylan Frittelli.
After round two, Johnson continued to be tied for the lead. However this time, he was no longer joined by Casey and Frittelli, but by Mexico’s Abraham Ancer, American Justin Thomas, Spain’s Jon Rahm, and Australia’s Cameron Smith. All five were tied at nine-under-par. With Johnson, Rahm and Thomas tied for the lead, it was the first time in history that the top three players in the world were tied for the lead after a round of a major.
However, it was on the front nine of the third round on Saturday morning, that Johnson separated himself from the rest of the field. On the par-five second hole, he came within three feet of registering an albatross–something simply unheard of in the history of the Masters. Only once before has a golfer recorded an albatross on the second hole at the Masters, and that was Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa in 2012. Johnson had a simple putt for eagle on the second to move to -11. That would be followed by birdies on the third, fourth, seventh, 13th, and 15th holes. Johnson was now at -16, and comfortably in the lead by four.
Early in the fourth round, Johnson was tested early by Australia’s Cameron Smith and South Korea’s Sung-jae Im. Smith was within two shots of Johnson, while Im was within one stroke. However, after bogeys on the fourth and fifth holes, Johnson birdied five holes to win by five strokes over Smith and Im. Johnson’s first major title was the 2016 U.S. Open.