Dustin Johnson says he has realised his dream by clinching Masters green jacket
Dustin Johnson woke up on Monday morning hoping his Masters triumph had not been a dream following his record-breaking exploits at Augusta National.
Johnson recovered from a somewhat shaky start to card a final round of 68 and win his second major title by five shots from Australia’s Cameron Smith and South Korea’s Sungjae Im.
The world number one’s winning total of 20 under par set a new tournament record, beating the previous best of 18 under set by Tiger Woods in 1997 and equalled by Jordan Spieth in 2015.
And as the defending champion, Woods was on hand to present Johnson with his green jacket in the traditional ceremony in the Butler Cabin.
“Always around the putting green growing up, it was putts to win the Masters,” Johnson said. “It was always to win at Augusta, especially because I grew up so close to here, about an hour, hour and 10 minutes away.
“As a kid you dream of playing in the Masters and dream about putting on a green jacket. Still kind of think it’s a dream, but hopefully it’s not.
“Obviously having Tiger put it on was awesome and unbelievable and you wouldn’t want it any other way. But any guy could put it on me and I’d be just fine!”
Johnson took a four-shot lead into the final round but saw that reduced to a single stroke after playing the first five holes in one over par while Smith and Im picked up two early birdies.
However, he responded well to birdie the sixth and eighth and a hat-trick of birdies from the 13th sealed a commanding victory to go with his 2016 US Open success.
“It’s always tough to get it done in a major,” added Johnson, who had failed to convert any of his four previous 54-hole leads into major victories.
“No matter how good you’re playing it’s hard. I was nervous all day, I could feel it.
“The Masters to me is the biggest tournament. It’s the one I wanted to win the most. I’m just very proud of the way I handled myself and the way I finished off the golf tournament.”
Johnson shared the triumph with his brother and caddie Austin, adding: “It’s an unbelievable feeling to experience all this with my brother.
“He’s been a big help being on my bag. I love him being on my bag and I wouldn’t want anyone else there. To share all these memories and moments with him is incredible.
“I had to jab him a little on 18 because he was tearing up, made me tear up. I’ve still got to finish this off, I can’t be crying. It was a lot of fun, I will remember this for the rest of my life.”
Hideki Matsuyama one shot in front heading into final round of ZOZO Championship
The 29-year-old Japanese held a three-shot advantage at one stage down the back nine.
Matt Wallace remains in contention at ZOZO Championship after strong finish
Wallace was two over par for his first 15 holes at Narashino Country Club but birdied the 16th, 17th and 18th to add a 69 to his opening 65.
Matt Wallace two shots off the lead after first round of the ZOZO Championship
Home favourite Hiroshi Iwata led the way on seven under.
Collin Morikawa looking forward to having fans back in Japan
The American is racking up the miles as he contends at the start of the PGA Tour season and the end of the European Tour campaign.
Rory McIlroy’s 20 PGA Tour wins: From the breakthrough in 2010 to THE CJ CUP last week
The Northern Irishman was supreme at the weekend, holding off the challenge of Rickie Fowler and Collin Morikawa in Las Vegas.
Billy Horschel sets out to double prize money at event aimed at boosting diversity
The 34-year-old American hosted the inaugural Billy Horschel APGA Tour Invitational at Sawgrass in July.
Rory McIlroy claims 20th PGA title with victory in CJ Cup
The Northern Irishman put his Ryder Cup torment behind him to win by a stroke from Collin Morikawa.
Matt Fitzpatrick responds to Ryder Cup disappointment with Andalucia Masters win
The Yorkshireman was bogey-free in the final round at the notoriously difficult Valderrama.
Rory McIlroy two shots off the lead after sizzling 62 in Las Vegas
The Northern Irishman shot his lowest score since 2019 to take second place heading into the final round.