Monday, November 16

Masters Champion Dustin Johnson: 'I Dream of Winning a Lot of Majors'

IT'S HARD TO WIN A MAJOR, even when you're as talented as world No. 1 Dustin Johnson. And especially when the major is the Masters, the one Dustin wanted the most.

On Sunday, Johnson finally got a monkey off his back and a Green Jacket draped over his broad shoulders.

Going into the final round with at least a 4-shot lead over a handful of players lacking Masters experience, DJ was 0 for 4 as a 54-hole leader at a major. (He won his one major championship, the 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont, coming from behind.)

After a couple early hiccups, this time Johnson got it done with a closing 68 and set the Masters scoring record in the process -- 20 under par -- shattering the 18-under mark set by Tiger Woods in 1997 and matched by Jordan Spieth in 2015.

"No one wants to be perceived as the player who can't hold a lead," Doug Ferguson wrote for the Associated Press. "Johnson could sense that was the reputation he was developing. He said as much in his news conference when he began with, 'I'm sure a lot of you all think' before he switched gears to say 'there were doubts in my mind, just because I had been there.'"

Now Johnson is part of that heady Green Jacket club for life, ending the possibility of being one of those tragic marquee players who never won at Augusta National: Greg Norman, Ernie Els, Lee Trevino, Nick Price, Johnny Miller, Davis Love III.

Part of an athletic family that excelled in multiple sports, Johnson grew up in neighboring South Carolina, just an hour from Augusta, Georgia. Winning the Masters was his dream. But the distance between him and a Green Jacket seemed too far at times, despite an easygoing demeanor and the raw power and shotmaking that produced more than 20 titles on the PGA Tour.

Today, Johnson has silenced some of those doubting voices, both in the golf world and in his head. The future looks better when you're wearing a Green Jacket.

"I dream of winning a lot of majors," he said. "Just hasn't quite happened yet. Hopefully, this one will help give me a little spring."

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