Dustin Johnson reacts on the 18th green after winning the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on Nov. 15, 2020 in Augusta, Georgia.
Dustin Johnson not only finished the job this time, he pulled away in record fashion.
Putting to rest his 0-4 record at majors when leading or co-leading after 54 holes, the world No. 1 held off the Masters field at Augusta National Golf Club with a final-round 68, giving him a record-low 268, 20-under-par, for the tournament. Johnson’s previous best finish at the Masters was a tie for second last year. The win is Johnson’s second major alongside his 2016 U.S. Open title.
Johnson was at least the co-leader after every round, pulling away to a four-stroke lead after Saturday. After a shaky start to the front nine Sunday that included back-to-back bogeys on the fourth and fifth holes, Johnson saw his lead vanish to just one stroke over 22-year-old challenger Sungjae Im of South Korea. But Johnson then steadied, gaining his lead back over Im, Cameron Smith, and a field of other challengers who hung with Johnson but could not catch him.
The win continues an outstanding 2020 for Johnson, despite pandemic-induced schedule changes such as the one that moved the Masters from its traditional April date to November. The win is Johnson’s fourth of the calendar year, though this year’s Masters is technically part of the 2020-21 PGA Tour season. The 2019-20 season concluded in September with the Tour Championship, which Johnson also won, giving him his first career FedEx Cup playoff championship.
Johnson, 36, will maintain his No. 1 status in the Official World Golf Ranking, which is used as the basis for the Olympic Golf Ranking that will set the field for the postponed Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Johnson currently ranks as the top U.S. men’s player, with a maximum of four per country receiving Olympic berths. Johnson had previously ruled himself out of competing at the Games due to a schedule conflict with the FedEx Cup playoffs. But Johnson revised that stance after the postponement of the Games to 2021, and with the men’s Olympic tournament concluding on Aug. 1, weeks before the start of the playoffs, becoming an Olympian could be a possibility for the world’s top player.
“Obviously, I’ve always been a fan of the Olympics. Never really thought golf would be in it,” Johnson told NBC Sports in June. “It’s something that, yeah, I’ll definitely have to consider.”