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.”
Tiger Woods will expect to do better at US PGA Championship – Curtis Strange
Woods returned to top-level action after a long injury absence with a 47th-placed finished at the Masters.
Defending champion Phil Mickelson withdraws from US PGA Championship
The six-time major winner has been taking a break from golf.
Jordan Spieth looking for career grand slam at US PGA Championship
The presence or absence of defending champion Phil Mickelson which will dominate the conversation at Southern Hills.
We’ve got your back – Greg Norman promises to defend players on breakaway tour
Phil Mickelson and Lee Westwood are among the professionals to have asked for the required release to play the first event at Centurion Club.
Thomas Bjorn named as Henrik Stenson’s first vice-captain for 2023 Ryder Cup
Stenson was one of Bjorn’s 12 players when he led Europe to 2018 glory in Paris.
Greg Norman criticises PGA Tour after LIV Golf Invitational Series block
Phil Mickelson and Lee Westwood are among the players known to have asked for the required release.
Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson confirmed for US PGA Championship
Woods last appeared at the Masters while Mickelson has not played since February.
Thorbjorn Olesen savours ‘special’ British Masters win after ‘some tough years’
The Dane was at a loss for words after securing his first win since 2018.