There was no doubting Dustin Johnson’s finishing touch. It made him a Masters champion Sunday.
Johnson shot 4-under-par 68 on his way to his first Masters victory as part of a record-setting performance at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga.
“I’m just very proud with how I handled myself and the way I finished off the golf tournament,” he said.
Johnson’s four-day total of 20-under 268 set a tournament record for lowest mark under par and lowest 72-hole score. His five-stroke victory was the tournament’s largest final margin in 20 years.
“The condition of the course definitely helped the scoring,” Johnson said.
Australia’s Cameron Smith shot 69 to finish at 15 under and share the runner-up spot with South Korea’s Sungjae Im, who also closed with 69. Smith became the first golfer in Masters history to play all four rounds in the 60s.
“It’s pretty cool,” Smith said. “There was a lot of good scrambling this week.”
But the day belonged to Johnson.
He was calm when it mattered most. The emotions came out later for the South Carolinian.
“As a kid, I always dreamed about being a Masters champion,” Johnson said, tearing up during a television interview. “It’s just incredible, as you can tell.”
Johnson, the world’s No. 1-ranked golfer, was tied as runner-up at the 2019 Masters. This time he took the next step.
“DJ was just too good at the end,” Smith said of the new champion.
Even a few shaky moments early in the round on a windy day couldn’t take Johnson, 36, off course as he secured his second major title to go with the 2016 U.S. Open. His lead on Im, who was appearing in his first Masters, dipped from four shots from the beginning of the round to one stroke before Johnson steadied things.
“Still didn’t let it bother me too much,” Johnson said. “It’s always tough to get it done in a major no matter how good you’re playing.”
After bogeys on the fourth and fifth holes, he rebounded with a birdie on the par-3 sixth. That catapulted him to 5 under over the final 13 holes. He strung together birdies on Nos. 13-15, becoming the first golfer in the tournament’s history to reach 20 under.
Johnson was solid throughout much of the tournament and went 33 consecutive holes without a bogey until the fourth hole Sunday.
Johnson led a major after 54 holes for the fifth time, though this was the first of those that he won.
Justin Thomas shot 70 to hold fourth place at 12 under. Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy’s 69 and South Africa’s Dylan Frittelli’s 72 left them tied for fifth at 11 under.
Defending champion Tiger Woods never found a groove, instead going in the wrong direction. He played the first 12 holes in 9 over with just one birdie. The disaster came with a 10 on the par-3 12th hole.
He put three balls in the water, and the 10 was his worst score on any hole during his Masters career.
“You’re so alone out there,” Woods said. “... And you have to figure it out.”
With birdies on five of the last six holes (including the final four), he ended up with a 76 for the round and at 1 under for the tournament, tying for 38th place.
Bernhard Langer, who became the oldest player in Masters history to make the cut, posted a final-round 71. The 63-year-old German finished 3 under and in a tie for 29th.
“There have been so many great players here before me ... from Jack Nicklaus to Gary Player to all the greats that have competed here,” Langer said. “And to be the oldest to make the cut, it’s certainly an achievement. Hopefully I get to play a few more years and enjoy this place.”
The low amateur was Andy Ogletree, a former Georgia Tech golfer who won the 2019 U.S. Amateur. Ogletree’s 72 on Sunday put him at 2 under and in a tie for 34th place out of a field that began with 92 golfers.
This was the first Masters contested in November, a date switch after the event tabbed for April was scrapped because of the coronavirus pandemic.