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TOP-RANKED Dustin Johnson got rid of an early stumble to win the Masters in record-breaking fashion on Sunday, catching his second major title with the lowest total rating in the competition’s history.
The 36- year-old American, who grew up just an hour’s drive north of Augusta National, became the very first ruling world top to grab the green jacket because Tiger Woods in 2002.
Johnson, whose other major triumph came at the 2016 US Open, fired a closing four-under-par 68 to complete on a 72- hole Masters record 20- under-par for a five-stroke victory over South Korean Im Sung-jae and Australian Cameron Smith.
Johnson smashed the old 72- hole Masters mark of 18- under 270 set by Woods in 1997 and matched by Jordan Spieth in 2015.
Third-ranked American Justin Thomas was fourth on 276, one stroke ahead of fifth-ranked Rory McIlroy and South Africa’s Dylan Frittelli.
Johnson, who began with a four-shot edge, had actually never transformed a 54- hole major lead into a title, stumbling at the 2010, 2015 and 2018 United States Opens and in August’s PGA Champion, where he went for a runner-up spot.
That hex ended Sunday, however not without some early drama as Johnson, runner-up in three of the past 6 majors including the 2019 Masters, saw his lead cut to one.
After curling in a 12- foot birdie putt at the par-4 third, Johnson made back-to-back bogeys at the 5th and par-3 6th, ending a run of 33 bogey-free holes.
Im birdied the second and third to stand only one adrift on 14- under, but he faded with bogeys at the par-3 sixth and par-4 seventh.
– ‘Incredible ability’ –
Johnson responded with six-foot birdie putts at the 6th and par-5 eighth to reach 17- under, extending his space to three on Smith, 4 on Im.
Johnson was imperturbable from there with fatal accuracy and consistency.
He sank a 12- footer for birdie at the par-5 13 th and a six-footer to birdie the 14 th to reach 19- under, seizing a five-shot edge with 4 holes remaining.
” DJ has just an incredible capability to remain calm in difficult moments,” Woods said. There’s no one more fit to that, I think, than DJ.”
Johnson sank a five-foot putt at the par-3 16 th and parred in for his 24 th career PGA title, his four bogeys on the week the least of any Masters champ.
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Im was attempting to end up being the very first Masters debut winner because 1979 and just the 2nd male Asian significant winner after compatriot Yang Yong-eun caught the 2009 PGA Championship.
Smith, a 27- year-old from Brisbane chasing his first significant crown, closed on 69 and opted for ending up being the first gamer in Masters history to shoot all 4 rounds in the 60 s.
Four-time significant winner Rory McIlroy, requiring a green coat to finish a career Grand Slam, went three-under on the front nine however made bogey on 10 and never threatened Johnson.
– Woods scary program –
McIlroy, not able to recuperate from a first-round 75, took some solace after a 6th stopped working attempt to finish the career Slam.
” I didn’t have a fantastic start however over the last 54 holes, only two bogeys, a lot of fantastic golf in there,” McIlroy stated. “Not overthinking it as much might be the secret for me.”
Safeguarding champ Woods discovered Rae’s Creek three times on his way to a septuple-bogey 10 at the par-3 12 th, his worst score ever on a significant hole. He responded with birdies on 5 of the last six holes to close on 76 and finish on 287.
” Hit a couple of a lot of shots than I wanted,” Woods said. “Had a lot more experiences there in Rae’s Creek.”
The 15- time major winner, a five-time Masters champ, matched his finest Augusta start with a 68 however neck and back pain doomed his quote for a sixth green jacket.
Germany’s Bernhard Langer, a two-time Masters champion and at 63 the oldest player to make any Masters cut, fired a 71 to end up on 285.
That was one stroke much better than US Open champ Bryson DeChambeau, who closed on 73, never ever coming close to subduing Augusta National as some feared. He had problem with lightheadedness, testing unfavorable Friday for Covid-19
” I had some unusual things take place to me I simply could not forsee,” DeChambeau stated. “I’ve got to repair this dizziness or whatever is going on. I have actually got to get healthy firstly.”
American Andy Ogletree closed on 72 to complete as low amateur on 286
There were no viewers to supply trademark Masters roars due to the Covid-19 pandemic that delayed the event from its usual April slot.