Dustin Johnson wins first Masters in style with record winning score at Augusta

Dustin Johnson was not crowned as any old normal Masters champion – if there is such a thing – here on Sunday, but as the champion who took fewer strokes than any decked in green before. A Masters like no other, hailed a winner with a score like no other – 20-under, 268 shots. It is such an appropriate accolade for a five-shot winning performance so dominant it would surely have sucked out all of the atmosphere even if any patrons had been allowed in here. Johnson, the South Carolina boy from an hour up Interstate-20, has always been made to enter the Butler Cabin and the sight of Tiger Woods putting the jacket around his countryman’s wide shoulders seemed nothing less than befitting. Starting with a four-shot advantage, there was a measure of drama in the opening stages when first the Korean Sung-jae Im closed to within a shot after five holes and then the Australian Cameron Smith took up the baton to reduce the deficit to two with the back nine to play. And the world No 1 was indeed jittery as he set out to attain that status of multiple “major-winner" his supreme talent and athleticism have always demanded. Yet with the pressure of the stats book showing that Johnson had held four 54-leads in the majors before and never once got the job done, the mighty specimen consigned all those memories of major calamities, of five major runners-up finishes to the past and strolled clear, quickly putting to bed the notion that Georgia would again be a dramatic swing state. As the minutes counted down, it became obvious that Johnson’s battle was not with the rest on this particular leaderboard but with the 18-under mark set by Woods in 1997 and Jordan Spieth in 2015. Three birdies in succession from the 13th help him easy away in that race, too, and the manner in which he reeled of this trio says so much about the standard he now sets.

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