December 3, 2020

The Masters: Dustin Johnson controlled nerves and ignored leaderboards at Augusta – Sky Sports

https://www.skysports.com/golf/news/12176/12133646/the-masters-dustin-johnson-controlled-nerves-and-ignored-leaderboards-at-augusta

Masters champion Dustin Johnson: “I didn’t look at the leaderboard at all from probably the seventh onwards. I tried not to. I just tried to play my game. I assumed I had the lead going up 18, but I didn’t know by how many”

By Keith Jackson

Last Updated: 15/11/20 11:18pm









4:39

The winner of the 84th Masters Dustin Johnson is presented with his first Green Jacket

The winner of the 84th Masters Dustin Johnson is presented with his first Green Jacket

Masters champion Dustin Johnson was not certain where he stood on the leaderboard as he made his way up the final fairway with a five-shot lead.

Johnson “assumed” he was in the lead after three consecutive birdies from the 13th hole gave himself a comfortable buffer over closest rivals, Cam Smith and Sungjae Im, who had trimmed the American’s lead from four to one after five holes of the last round.

Im’s birdies at the second and third piled the pressure on a nervous Johnson, who bogeyed four and five before hitting back with a priceless two at the sixth after a superb eight-iron to six feet.

Johnson decided to avoid leaderboards in the final round Johnson decided to avoid leaderboards in the final round

Johnson decided to avoid leaderboards in the final round

Johnson was proud of the way he controlled his nerves, emotions and his golf ball thereafter, adding another birdie at eight to be two ahead at the turn before pulling away from the chasing pack down the stretch, posting a 68 to set a new Augusta scoring record at 20-under par.

“I assumed I had the lead, but I didn’t know by how many,” said Johnson as he reflected on his victory stroll up the last. “That was my goal. I kind of looked at the leaderboard a little bit early, and after that I just told myself, ‘don’t worry about what anybody else is doing, just play as good as you can’.

“So I didn’t look at the leaderboard at all from probably the seventh onwards. I tried not to. I just tried to play my game. When I felt comfortable with the wind and the number that I had, I would play aggressive.

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Dustin Johnson put in another high-quality performance on the final day at the Augusta National to claim a record-breaking victory at the 84th Masters

Dustin Johnson put in another high-quality performance on the final day at the Augusta National to claim a record-breaking victory at the 84th Masters

“If not, I would try to play just to the fatter side of the green, and pars are a good score on a lot of these holes, especially when you’re on nine through 12. You’d take par all day on those holes, especially with the wind, the way it was blowing today.

“I was nervous all day, but I felt like I controlled myself very well, and controlled the golf ball very well in difficult conditions. I felt like the wind was really tricky, and the greens were a little bit faster. I felt like you really had to be careful around here today.

How DJ won The Masters

Relive a record-breaking display from Dustin Johnson at Augusta National.

“But I knew if I played well, especially from eight to the house, that I was going to put myself in a good position and have a chance to win. I just didn’t want anything to affect the way that I played. I took what the course gave me and hit the shots I felt I could hit.”

Although 2020 has been a disruptive year for most, Johnson can look back on the last six months with some pride having secured his first FedExCup title in September, regaining the world No 1 ranking and realising his Masters dream in some style.

How The Masters Was Won

November 16, 2020, 8:00pm

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“Winning the FedExCup was huge,” said Johnson. “It was something that I really wanted to do in my career. And then obviously coming here and winning Augusta is on the very top of the list for sure. I know 2020 has been a really strange year, but it’s been good to me and I’ve played some good golf.

“I can’t thank Augusta enough for just having the Masters. Obviously when it got cancelled in April, none of us knew if we were going to be able to play in it.

“I was just happy to be here playing, and it worked out okay for me.”