Dustin Johnson’s historic Masters victory has been a long time coming for the South Carolina native, who has reigned as the world number one golfer for over 100 separate weeks, and previously placed in the top ten of 15 majors.
While the 36-year-old Johnson has won 23 PGA Tour titles prior to Sunday, he has only captured one other major title – the 2016 US Open. As Johnson repeatedly came up short despite 54-holes leads in the multiple majors, questions have loomed over his ability to perform on golf’s most-watched stages.
Johnson’s Masters win comes after the reigning FedEx Cup champion tied for second in the 2020 PGA Championship, outplayed by Collin Morikawa, and tied for sixth in the 2020 US Open.
This year’s journey to the 84th Masters added a new hiccup – a coronavirus diagnosis that left Johnson quarantined for 11 days in October.
“I was just laying around kind of doing nothing,” Johnson said during a press conference in early November. “The only good thing that came out of this is I know I’m playing next week at the Masters.”
But Johnson emerged from isolation in stellar form, carding a historic 20 under par and crushing five-stroke victory. His performance casts aside any doubt of Johnson’s ability to play under pressure.
“It’s a dream come true. As a kid I always dreamed about being a Masters champion” Johson said on Sunday as he struggled to hold back tears. “I put in a lot of hard work, I’ve got a great team.”