Masters Week: A Whole New Dustin Johnson

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Dustin Johnson was quick to note a soft Augusta National helped his record-breaking 72-hole score of 20-under. Perhaps more impressive than his total is that he hit 60 of 72 greens in regulation. His scorecards are scary: 65, 70, 65 and 68 — 65 was the lowest round by anyone at the 2020 Masters, it happened five times and two of those belong to DJ. An even par round today would have been enough, but Johnson had gas in the tank with sweet little 68. He admitted to being extremely nervous today and cruised around at 4-under — bravo. Perhaps no golf course is better at crushing a leader’s dreams because it’s slick, sloping and punishing — it exposes fear like no other golf course, but Johnson answered the bell and then some.

Dustin Johnson on the 13th hole during the final round of the Masters at
Augusta National Golf Club (Photos courtesy TaylorMade)

Johnson’s sincere emotional display in his conversation with CBS’ Amanda Balionis won him a lot of fans. At times he comes off as being a bit smug and numb, but it’s obvious he cares a whole hell of a lot. This isn’t the ho-hum DJ we see en route to a regular season win at the RBC Canadian Open. Up there with Crenshaw in ’95, Johnson’s choked-up silence is likely the greatest display of emotion ever seen at Augusta. What an endearing moment for Johnson when he looked at the camera and said, “I can’t talk.”

Gallery or not, it demonstrated the value of a green jacket which is without price. Take a poll at clubs and most would choose Masters Champion over President of the United States. It’s the pinnacle of existence — the most exclusive fraternity in the world and it’s not close. Unlikely DJ was the fan favorite going in, but I think that’s changed. He was humanized today and like all golfers — he’s just a kid with a dream to win a Green Jacket.

Good on ya, DJ and congrats.

Apologies to Jon Rahm and Tiger Woods — we suggested neither would make the cut — sorry about that. Tiger’s fight today to get back to red was remarkable. But not as impressive as the 63 year old Bernhard Langer’s 3-under good for T29. That’s the best golf by someone over 55 since Tom Watson at The Open in 2009. Langer beat Bryson DeChambeau, Tiger Woods, Tony Finau and a host of others — an all-time great performance.

Our picks Patrick Cantlay and Sebastián Muñoz faded late. Unfortunately for Muñoz he needed a T12 or better to make the field in April 2021. He was there, but shot 75 today and slipped to T19. From the top of the leaderboard to the bottom — everyone’s fighting for more time at Augusta — everyone wants to be there as often as possible. A lifetime invite to the Tuesday Champions Dinner is the ultimate goal, but to make the field is well enough.

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Qualifications for Masters Invitation:

  • Masters Tournament Champions (Lifetime)
  • U.S. Open Champions (Honorary, non-competing after five years)
  • British Open Champions (Honorary, non-competing after five years)
  • PGA Champions (Honorary, non-competing after five years)
  • Winners of The Players Championship (Three years)
  • Current Olympic Gold Medalist (One year)
  • Current U.S. Amateur Champion (Honorary, non-competing after one year) and the runner-up to the current U.S. Amateur Champion
  • Current British Amateur Champion (Honorary, non-competing after one year)
  • Current Asia-Pacific Amateur Champion
  • Current Latin America Amateur Champion
  • Current U.S. Mid-Amateur Champion
  • The first 12 players, including ties, in the previous year’s Masters Tournament
  • The first four players, including ties, in the previous year’s US Open Championship
  • The first four players, including ties, in the previous year’s British Open Championship
  • The first four players, including ties, in the previous year’s PGA Championship
  • Winners of PGA Tour events that award a full-point allocation for the season-ending Tour Championship, from previous Masters to current Masters
  • Those qualifying for the previous year’s season-ending Tour Championship
  • The 50 leaders on the Final Official World Golf Ranking for the previous calendar year
  • The 50 leaders on the Official World Golf Ranking published during the week prior to the current Masters Tournament
  • The 50 leaders on the Official World Golf Ranking prior to the originally scheduled Masters Tournament at Week 11 (March 15th, 2020)
  • The Masters Committee, at its discretion, also invites international players not otherwise qualified.
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