You couldn’t have asked for a much better Masters than the one Dustin Johnson just won in fantastic fashion.
OK, it’s more exciting when there’s two or three players vying at the end, but he was sublime and outclassed the whole field.
The signs were there. Johnson’s form going into Augusta included four top twos and a win in his last six events. Sure enough, Dustin just dusted them up.
The golf he played all week was really impressive.
It was early on Saturday that he found the surge that he needed to distance himself from the rest. He stuck it to within a foot at the second for eagle, then birdied three and four.
Someone had to jump out the gates quickly and it was certainly Dustin Johnson.
From then on he just had to keep doing what he was doing. I never won a major so it’s difficult for me to assess what he’s thinking, but you just don’t get ahead of yourself.
You don’t think, ‘I can’t wait to get to 16 or 17 and be five clear’. It’s just about staying in the moment and doing what you do best.
I don’t think the absence of spectators made any difference to him. If anything, I think he might have won by more if there had been crowds. He doesn’t seem the type of person to get nervous.
Johnson ‘scarily good’
In the end, the man everyone was talking about before the Masters, Bryson DeChambeau, flattered to deceive.
DeChambeau finished tied for 34th, 18 shots behind Johnson. He wouldn’t have seen that coming.
He drove pretty poorly all week, especially the first couple of rounds. But I’m not sure who could have caught Johnson. He was scarily good.
Like Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy made quite a few mistakes. On Saturday he made six at 13 and went in the water at 15 — and yet he still finished fifth in the event. It’s quite extraordinary how he does that, time and again.
As for Tiger Woods, he was magnificent for 71 holes. And even after making 10 at the par-three 12th, he birdied five of the last six holes. But it wasn’t his week.
It’s pretty special that seven of the top 10 finishers are in the top 12 of the world rankings.
I think it’s a great testament to Augusta and the way they set up the course.
We all talk about overrunning courses. Yes, the scoring was good, but there wasn’t a breath of wind so it’s difficult to say how good it actually was.
More majors beckon
For Johnson, I think winning the Masters will unlock more major titles.
He’s a different player to two or three years ago; vastly improved.
He’s worked out the fade. Having played most of his career with the hook,Johnson has worked out the fade — and what a move that has been.
LeeTrevino used to say ‘you can talk to fade but you can’t talk to a hook’ — meaning you can hit a really bad hook whereas it’s very difficult to hit a really bad slice.
Johnson’s a different animal now. He’s got the distance, he putts beautifully, he’s sorted out his wedge play. He’s the real deal.
Sam Torrance OBE is a multiple Ryder Cup-winning golfer and media commentator. Follow him on Twitter here.