The Masters Recap: Dustin Johnson Takes Title in Historic Fashion

Story posted November 16, 2020 in Sports, CommRadio by Logan Groeneveld-Meijer

For just the second time in his illustrious career, Dustin Johnson is a major champion.

Johnson won the 2020 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Sunday, finishing 20 strokes under par: the lowest final score in Masters history.

The 36-year-old American was strong throughout the week, opening on Thursday with a seven-under score of 65. He would follow this with 70 on Friday and another 65 on Saturday before a Sunday 68 propelled him to the green jacket.

Of Johnson’s 23 career victories, this is only his second major title, as the current top-ranked player in the world also won the U.S. Open in 2016.

Johnson’s record weekend was closest followed by Australian Cameron Smith and South Korean Sungjae Im, who both finished five shots back at 15 under par.

Smith also assumed a solid form throughout the week, opening his tournament with a five-under 67. He then fired 68 on Friday before closing the week with two rounds of 69. In the 27-year-old's fourth Masters appearance, it was a career-best result, having previously finished in a tie for fifth in 2018.

Im also put entirely under-par rounds together. In his first Masters appearance, the 22-year-old shot 66 on Thursday in a round that included eight birdies. He followed this with a 70 before closing with rounds of 68 and 69. 

American Justin Thomas finished solo fourth with a score of 12 under par. Thomas started the week strong, shooting 66 on Thursday and 69 on Friday. But the 27-year-old American could not keep the same momentum throughout the weekend, with rounds of 71 and 70 preventing him from challenging the leaders. Still, it is his best Masters result, having previously finished in a tie for 12th in 2019.

Rounding out the top five at 11 under par were Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and Dylan Frittelli of South Africa. 

McIlroy entered the week in hot pursuit of the title, as the Masters is the only major that he has yet to win. His week did not start well, as the 31-year-old shot a three-over 75 on Thursday. However, McIlroy fought back with rounds of 66 and 67, putting him at eight under par prior to Sunday. He would then shoot 69 to finish nine strokes behind Johnson and claim his second career top-five finish at the Masters.

Frittelli started his week just as well as Johnson did, firing a seven-under 65 on Thursday. He fell back slightly with a Friday 73, but a Saturday 67 put him closer to contention. He then finished his week with an even-par 72 to tie with McIlroy at 11 under. The result was a career best, as Frittelli had not even made a cut at any prior Masters entering the week.

Other top-ranked players in the world with the top-10 finishes included John Rahm (-10), Brooks Koepka (-10), Webb Simpson (-9) and 2018 champion Patrick Reed (-9). 

Tiger Woods entered the week eager to defend his 2019 Masters victory but could not duplicate such success, finishing the tournament at one under par after an up-and-down week.

Woods opened with a four-under 68 on Thursday before failing to make ground in the second or third rounds with respective scores of 71 and 72. The five-time Masters champion then faded with a 76 on Sunday in a round that included a score of 10 on the par-three 12th hole, although he would birdie five of the last six holes after that. 

Woods finished in a tie for 38th.

 

Logan Groeneveld-Meijer is a freshman majoring in journalism. To contact him, email lsg5237@psu.edu.