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Dustin Johnson Dominates in Masters win

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Dustin Johnson Dominates in Masters win

Dustin Johnson claimed his second Major title in devastating fashion, shooting a record score of 20-under-par to claim a five-shot victory.

The American had seen his lead trimmed down to one shot after the opening holes, but four birdies in 11 holes saw Johnson pull clear and claim the coveted Green Jacket.

 

Final Round Overview

Johnson had tied the 54-hole scoring record on Saturday at 16-under-par and would have a commanding four-shot lead going into the final round. But, as is always the case at Augusta, it wasn’t going to be easy as he drove into the right fairway bunker on the first.

Johnson then clipped a useful second onto the heart of the green and two putted to help settle any nerves. Another pushed drive on the second found the rough and, although he left himself a short pitch in with his third, he would chunk it into the bunker and have to rely on his scrambling skills to save par.

Johnson’s nearest rival was Cameron Smith, who had just followed his birdie at the second with another at the third to halve Johnson’s overnight lead to just two strokes. Johnson recovered from yet another bad pitch on the third to roll in a slippery, big-breaking putt for birdie, while challenger Sungjae Im stayed three behind Johnson with birdies at two and three.

The gap at the top was back to two when Johnson came up short with his tee shot to the tough fourth, and he needed three putts to get down before another shot went following a bunkered drive at the fifth. Im, on the other hand, would par the fourth and produce a fine up-and-down to save par at five to find himself just one behind the leader.

At the sixth, came one of the turning points in the tournament. After making back-to-back bogies, Johnson fired in to six feet and would hole his birdie putt. Meanwhile, Im went long of the green and couldn’t get up-and-down.

Playing in the group ahead of Johnson, Smith had produced a stunning second from the pines on the seventh to set up birdie from inside 10 feet. He would do the same on the ninth, his ball pitching on the left fringe and rolling to within four feet for his fourth birdie of the day. Johnson, meanwhile, had found the eighth green with two big blows and safely two-putted for a birdie-four.

A good par at the ninth took Johnson to the turn in 35, as he stayed two clear of Smith who faltered at the 11th, before Johnson followed a good run of pars with a birdie at 13 to restore his four-shot buffer.

The outcome of the tournament was put beyond doubt as the American birdied the 14th and 15th, and now the question was by how much would he break the overall scoring record? (Set in 1997 & 2015 by Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth.)

A good two-putt for par from the lower level at the 16th, where the pin was in a rare back-right position, was his last hurdle negotiated. And with a five-shot lead, Johnson produced two solid pars at the 17th and 18th  which wrapped up a week of sustained excellence from the clear-cut World Number One.

His winning score was two shots better than the scoring record, while another Augusta record fell to Smith as his closing 69 made him the first player to fire sub-70 rounds on all four days of the Masters.

 

Notable Performances

South Korean Sungjae Im produced his best finish in a Major as his final round 69 was enough for a T2 finish at Augusta.

Cameron Smith set a new record as his closing 69 made him the first player to fire four rounds in the 60’s at the Masters. The Australian also produced his best finish at a Major, finishing tied with Im.

World Number three Justin Thomas finished solo fourth. His final round started poorly as he bogeyed the second (ranked the easiest hole on the course). The American did, however, eagle the 15th to finish with a two-under-par 70.

Rory McIlroy was once again left thinking what could have been? The Northern Irishman started his week with a three-over-par 75. From there he had rounds of 65, 67 & 69, which, arguably again, could have been several shots better.

Dylan Frittelli produced his best result at a Major championship, finishing tied fifth with McIlroy.

World Number two, Jon Rahm, who shared the halfway lead with Johnson and Thomas, before losing ground with a third round 72, had only two pars on his card in an entertaining back nine, which featured an eagle at 15, three birdies, one bogey and a double-bogey five at the 12th after a visit to the water.

The finish put the Spaniard in a tie with Brooks Koepka and CT Pan at 10-under-par, while Tiger Woods was left to lick his wounds after humiliation at the 12th, producing the first double-figure score he has made on any hole in his professional career.

 

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A lifelong interest in watching and playing sport led Matt to study Sports Journalism at Solent University, graduating in 2019 with a broken nose after a hockey mishap. However, golf is his primary passion. As a junior, he held a scratch handicap, played for county and was Junior Club Captain. Matt has interviewed a number of influential figures within golf as well as working with the R&A and writing for Golf Monthly.

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