Dustin Johnson’s big Masters win played out over any statistic
Leading up to the 2020 Masters Tournament, Dustin Johnson kept saying he was playing the best golf of his career and reiterated the message anytime he was asked during tournament week. His recent results on the PGA Tour were another obvious sign the world’s best player was playing his best.
The dominance he put on display this week en route to a record 20-under 268 total was thorough and represented his control in every aspect of the game on the way to a green jacket.
Low scoring on the par 5s has been a common trait for most recent Masters champions. Johnson followed suit, playing them in an 11-under total with two eagles, eight birdies and one bogey.
But the length of the hole or shot required mattered little this week. Johnson also excelled on the par 4s (5 under) and the par 3s (4 under). Just when his lead looked shaky Sunday, Johnson ripped a pinpoint approach to the par-3 6th and buried a curling 7-footer to rebuild his cushion.
Known for prolific driving since he turned pro, Johnson’s combination of power and accuracy paved the way to a green jacket. He averaged 306.7 yards off the tee (sixth) and hit 78.6 percent of the fairways (13th).
With its generous fairways and minimal rough, the pros consider Augusta National Golf Club a second-shot golf course. Through the years, excellent iron play has been a key ingredient in Masters success. Tiger Woods led the field in greens in regulation in his 2019 victory and Johnson did the same this year, hitting 60 of 72 greens (83.3 percent), which matches the tournament best, dating to 1980. Not only did he hit the greens, he also was often in birdie range, taking advantage of the soft conditions to lead the field in proximity to the hole (30 feet, 4 inches).
On the 12 greens he missed, Johnson scrambled to save par nine times, tied for fourth in the field.
Down the stretch, as Cameron Smith tried to apply pressure and make the second nine interesting, Johnson remained solid on the greens. He sealed the victory with consecutive birdies at Nos. 13, 14 and 15, making putts of 13, 7 and 6 feet.
For the week, Johnson was eighth in putts per green in regulation and perfect on the momentum-saving short ones, draining all 52 inside five feet.
These types of performances from Johnson aren’t unusual. Just two months ago he beat most of these same players by 11 shots in rolling to the Deutsche Bank Championship title.
In a year where low scores were available at Augusta National, he took full advantage, earning his second major championship in record fashion by playing nearly flawless golf for four days.