Nov 16th, 2020
DJ strolls to Masters Victory
American reaffirms his world top spot with record win at Augusta
Words: GolfPunk Photography: Getty Images
In visions of years gone by when Tiger dominated the event, no one seemed able to live with Johnson. Coming down the stretch, the man from South Carolina had the luxury of being able to lay up at both of the par fives. There was no need for miracle shots from the pin straw for the world number one as he birdied both the 13th and 15th holes the standard way.
Johnson was a man in total control of his game and if he was churning up inside, there was no sense of it as he swaggered through the final few holes to victory. Slowly and surely he strolled into the Masters' record books finishing an astonishing twenty-under-par.
Johnson admitted that the Masters was the event he "wanted to win the most" and the emotion was evident when he received the famous green jacket from Tiger Woods in Butler Cabin.
"It is a dream come true, as a kid, I always dreamed about being a Masters champion," said an emotional Johnson.
"It's just incredible. Having Tiger Woods put the Green Jacket on you, it still feels like a dream."
It was a family affair for Johnson who had brother Austin on the bag and fiancee and model Paulina Gretzky watching.
"It's an unbelievable feeling to experience all this with my brother, Austin," added Johnson. "I love him being on my bag. I don't want anyone else to share these memories with.
"Having Paulina there was awesome. It was a lot of fun. I will remember this for the rest of my life."
Johnson's lead was four shots heading into the final round which but just one shot following the stumble at the 5th and 6th holes. Still, he stayed strong eventually leaving South Korea's Sungjae Im and Australian Cameron Smith in his wake.
DJ closed with a four-under-par 68 following his round that included six birdies and two bogies and eventually finished five shots clear of the field.
"I made a birdie at three, then made bogeys - they weren't bad shots because I had a good look at pars. I then made a great shot at six and made birdie." Said Johnson.
Apart from Im and Smith no other player took a run at Johnson. Justin Thomas was surprisingly lacking lustre as he struggled to a closing 71 and none of Koepka, Rahm and McIlroy could find the Stella round they needed on Sunday
Rory McIlroy closed with a 69 to finish nine back from the winner. The man from Northern Ireland was once again ruing a poor opening round as he lost the Masters on Thursday. McIlroy still needs to find the mental toughness to grind out a score when not hitting the ball well.
If ever there was an example of mental toughness it was Tiger Woods's final round. Following an almost unthinkable ten at the short 'Golden Bell' hole which has been the scene of many a Masters drama, Woods birdied five of the last six holes to limit the damage to a four-over 76.