A rundown of the 2020 Masters Tournament


Photo by Obi Onyeador on Unsplash

2020 Masters Tournament. The 2020 Masters features prominent golfers like Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, and many others. However, Dustin Johnson came from behind and took home his first career Green Jacket.

RJ Craig, Contributing Staff Writer

This year, the 84th rendition of The Masters golf tournament  took place on November 12th-15th. It was an unusual transition as it usually occurred during April. Scenes of spring greenery typically surround the Augusta National Golf Club, but this year, there was an array of beautiful autumn colors for golfers and staff alike to take in with awe—it was a Masters like no other.

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There were several narratives to follow heading into the first round of the tournament. Would the 2020 U.S. Open champ Bryson DeChambeau, with his strong drive play, add another major win to his golfer profile? Would the 2019 Masters champion, Tiger Woods, defend his title? Would Rory McIlroy achieve a career grand slam? Whatever the case, there would be only one champion at this year’s Masters.

On Thursday morning, at the start of the first round, rain pelted the course, and  for a couple of hours. After the delay, the weather returned to normal, and the first round resumed. With the rain, however, the entire course had more moisture than usual—everything from the fairway to the bunker to the green—and golfers had to make sure they altered the way they approached the hole as well as the how they putted the ball on the green.

As they made their way through the course, golfers witnessed firsthand what the Masters was like without large crowds accompanying them at each hole. Many small sounds permeated the course—sounds that would have given way to the thunderous applause and cheering from fans and spectators. The soft breezes, the trees swaying in the wind, and the conversations between golfer and caddie were much more audible now than they had ever been. Who knows when the Masters will be this empty again? 

At the end of the opening round, Paul Casey led the field with a 7-under 65, followed by Xander Schauffele, Webb Simpson, and Justin Thomas in a three-way tie at second with five-under-par. Other big names sat atop the leaderboard like Tiger Woods and Patrick Reed at four-under, and at three-under, Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler, Tony Finau, and Dustin Johnson. The favorite to win the Masters, Bryson DeChambeau, tied for 21st at two-under-par. It was only the first round, and there was ample time for the standings to shake up.

Round two began on Friday and featured a gorgeous November day. At about 5 o’clock, however, the sun began to set, and since there were no lights, the second round of play concluded. Some golfers had not completed all of their holes yet. Thus, the second round continued the following morning. 

The morning soon arrived, and golfers quickly finished the remainder of their second rounds. This time around, there were new names at the top of the leaderboard. A four-way tie for first place headlined the standings. Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Abraham Ancer, and Cameron Smith all finished at nine-under-par through two rounds. Followed closely behind them were Rahm, Patrick Cantlay, and Sungjae Im at eight-under. Woods tied for 22nd at four-under after ending his round at an even-par. DeChambeau was at an ugly one-over-par after triple-bogeying the par-4 3rd—a blunder that he would never fully recover from.

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After the third round, there was an even greater gap between players, and once again, the leaderboard had a different look to it. Dustin Johnson had sole possession of first place with a score of 16-under-par; he had an outstanding seven-under performance on Saturday. Behind him were Im, Ancer, and C. Smith — all at 16-under-par. Tiger Woods tied for 21st at five-under, and any chance of him defending his Masters title was long gone.

Heading into the final round, Johnson carried the lead at 16-under-par. After getting par through the first two holes, Johnson birdied the third hole, bogeyed the next two, and birdied hole six, bringing his total score for the day at exact par. After the first nine holes, Johnson was back to one-under-par after birdieing the par-5 eighth hole. On the back nine holes, he parred holes 10 through 12. Aiming to create further separation between himself and the competition, he birdied the next three holes, bringing his total down to four-under-par, and by that point, no one could catch up to him.

At the conclusion of the tournament, there was a clear victor. With a phenomenal score of 20-under-par, Johnson earned the honors of being the 2020 Masters champion. The two players who trailed Johnson were Cameron Smith and Sungjae Im, and both of them were five strokes behind at 15-under-par. 

Johnson, the 34-year-old from Columbia, South Carolina, added just his second major win to his career, his only other major title coming in the 2016 U.S. Open when he scored a 4-under 276. 

At the awards ceremony, Tiger Woods, who finished just one-under-par for the tournament, helped Johnson put on his Green Jacket. “Obviously having Tiger put it on was awesome and unbelievable,” Johnson said. “But any guy could put it on me and I’d be just fine.”

In what has been an unusual year on the PGA Tour, Johnson, through his hard work and undeniable grit, has cemented himself as one of the many Green Jacket winners in the rich history of the Masters.