- It was only once the 18th hole had been cleared on the Sunday that Johnson allowed himself to realise what had been achieved, and that was when the emotions burst forth.
- Now, attention must turn to what Johnson can realistically hope to achieve in 2021.
- The first major of 2021 will be the Masters, as the Augusta showpiece returns to its familiar dates of mid-April.
Dustin Johnson’s victory in the Masters last month gave us a glimpse of something we very rarely see from the 36-year-old – emotion. To win a tournament he had been striving to win for his whole career saw the façade drop and the tender fragility of a toiling golfer come flooding to the surface.
But while Johnson was emotional after his triumph was secured, his demeanour throughout the four days at Augusta was defined by the business-like air of a man simply doing his job. He tamed one of golf’s most notoriously tricky courses with unrivalled flair and excellence, winning the tournament by a clear five shots, and delivering on his status as one of the favourites in the pre-tournament golf betting odds.
It was only once the 18th hole had been cleared on the Sunday that Johnson allowed himself to realise what had been achieved, and that was when the emotions burst forth. “It still feels like a dream,” he said, “As a kid, I was dreaming about winning the Masters and having Tiger put the Green Jacket on you still feels like a dream. But I am here and what a great feeling it is. I could not feel more excited.”
Now, attention must turn to what Johnson can realistically hope to achieve in 2021. The fact that he conducted himself with such composure and assurance at the Masters, when the pressure of being the frontrunner was clearly building, is proof that Johnson could well deliver more major championship titles next year.
Indeed, the first major of 2021 will be the Masters, as the Augusta showpiece returns to its familiar dates of mid-April. It will no doubt be strange for Johnson to return there so soon after earning the Green Jacket for the first time, but he’ll be motivated to extend his run as defending champion for a bit longer, after such a short gap between his triumph and the next edition of the Masters.
Conditions will undoubtedly be more difficult come April, after the downpours which preluded the 2020 Masters causing greens to soften, allowing Johnson to make a record-breaking final score of 20 under par. But now that he has the experience of winning at Augusta, Johnson should have the confidence to adapt to any conditions and still challenge.
The aim for Johnson in 2021 as a whole will be to add to his haul of major championship titles. Before he won at Augusta, he only had one major to his name, and had gained a reputation as a bit of a nearly man – a golfer whose consistency was perhaps unrivalled, but who wasn’t bringing home the titles as far as majors were concerned. It could be that this latest victory will open the floodgates, and we might see a wave of major championship wins coming Johnson’s way over the next year or so.
He enters 2021 as a man who has finally achieved his dream, and you can bet that he liked the taste of it, and will be doing his utmost to earn title after title. Johnson proved at Augusta that he does indeed have the attributes to deliver a dominant victory at one of the big four, and with a full complement of majors in 2021, it’s set to be an exciting year for golf’s latest recipient of the Green Jacket.