Dustin Johnson wins the 84th edition of the Masters
The Masters tournament at Augusta National Golf Club is traditionally held in the spring of April and serves as a joyful indication to golf enthusiasts everywhere of the beginning of a fresh season.
The Masters is widely considered the most influential career milestone that every golf star must conquer to achieve greatness in the sport. As a result, the best contenders have always had their sights set towards claiming the illustrious green jacket.
The ongoing pandemic ultimately forced tournament organizers to postpone the 84th edition of the event, settling on a projected return in mid-November and after a seven-month adjournment, The Masters officially took place from Nov. 12 to 15.
The azaleas that traditionally outline the course and give the competition it’s distinct look gave way to fall foliage. The usual thousands of patrons that line the course in greeting the field of players were now in the comfort of their homes. The greens that are notoriously deceptive and delicate were uncharacteristically lenient due to the added softness from frequent precipitation and cold conditions that come with the fall season.
While the most traditional of the four golf major tournaments was as different as could possibly be this year, the Masters ended in the most normal way, the green jacket being awarded to the top-ranked golfer in the world, Dustin Johnson. In 2019, Johnson finished in a three-way tie for runner-up at the event, and experts have always known it was only a matter of time for the superstar.
Sometimes as fans, we like to make spicy predictions because it gives us something new to root for when watching from home,” said Tom Carrier, a life-long golf enthusiast and golf instructor from Laprairie. “It’s easier to say in hindsight now that the tournament is done, but Johnson was the obvious pick if you know anything about golf.”
In the end, Johnson finished 20 under par, the lowest 72-hole score in Masters’ history. His five-stroke margin of victory was the largest since Tiger Woods’ historic 12-shot win in 1997.
He came into the fall edition of the Masters on a dominant run that hadn’t been seen since a young Woods lead the game for several years at the turn of the century.
In Johnson’s six previous tournament appearances this year, he won two events (the Northern Trust, TOUR Championship), finished second three times (PGA Championship, BMW Championship, Houston Open), and finished a respectable sixth at the US Open.
Johnson first became the top-ranked golfer in the world at the beginning of 2017 and has maintained the prestigious honour for a total of 104 weeks, fourth-most all-time. With his victory at Augusta National on Sunday, he now has two major championships to his name to go along with his 27 professional victories.
Johnson’s list of accolades rivals golf’s most notable superstars of the past; yet, the top-ranked golfer struggled to avoid criticism and skepticism from fans and peers coming into the competition.
While Johnson has won two majors, cynics will be the first to state he should have a couple more in his possession after failing to convert 54-hole leads into victories in several notable tournaments. In addition, his stoic and silent nature has at times played into the misconnected narrative that he is an uncaring and simple-minded jock.
However, Johnson proved he is as meticulous as any generational talent through his most recent triumph in golf’s biggest test. Four-time major winner Rory McIlroy summed up this year’s champion in a nutshell: “[Johnson] makes the game so simple. It’s something to admire all the time.”
Graphic by Rose-Marie Dion