by Todd Carton
Other than John Rahm’s pond skimming hole in one on the 16th hole in Tuesday’s practice round, the 2020 Masters didn’t give golf fans the indelible moments of great shots the tournament often provides. However, it teemed with story lines that rain down with as much ferocity as the rain and fog that delayed and shortened Thursday’s opening round and that will flood the memories of golf lovers for decades to come. Here are some that stand out to me:
Let’s start with the winner, Dustin Johnson:
Won his first Masters by dominating the course with a new record of 20 under par in a manner reminiscent of the way he obliterated TPC Boston in August at the Northern Trust by shooting 30 under par.Joins Jason Day (2015 PGA) and Henrik Stenson (2016 Open Championship) as the only golfers to win a major championship at 20 under par.Closed the tournament with a 4 under par 68 his 11th consecutive sub par round in the tournament breaking the record of 10 previously held by Tiger Woods. Becomes the first world number one ranked player to win the Masters since Tiger Woods in 2001.
Joins Craig Wood (1941), Arnold Palmer (1960), Jack Nicklaus (1972), Raymond Floyd (1976), and Jordan Spieth (2015) as the only players to win the tournament while holding or sharing the lead at the end of each round.
Some other accomplishments of note:
Australian Cameron Smith became the first player in the 84 year history of the Masters to shoot under 70 in all four rounds finishing at 15 under par where he was joined by 22 year old Korean Sungjae Im in a tie for second place that was not only the lowest score to par for a second place finish at Augusta National but would have won all but six of the previous 84 championships.
Low amateur Andy Ogletree equaled the score of 2019 low amateur Vikto Hovland marking the first time in tournament history that the low amateur finished under par in consecutive years.
Nearer the other end of life’s calendar. 63 year-old Bernhard Langer became the oldest golfer to make the cut, passing Tommy Aaron by 33 days. Langer finished tide for 29th at three under par.
Tiger Woods chip shot for birdie on the 16th hole in 2005 is one that is not likely to ever be forgotten. In 2020, Tiger faced a moment of ignominy on the 12th hole putting three shots in Ray’s Creek and recording an almost incomprehensible seven over par 10 on the midpoint of Amen Corner. Woods showed his championship mettle, however, when he finished the round with birdies on five of his last six holes.
One other note: The first Masters was played on the last full weekend in March 1934 and until 2020 was the only Masters to both begin and end in a month other than April. (The tournament wasn’t played for three years – 1943-1945 – during World War II.) And we get to do it all again in just 143 days. See you on April 8, 2021.
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