Dustin Johnson qualifies for the final round of the 2020 Masters, with a four-shot lead over Im Song Jae, Abraham Anser and Cameron Smith. This should be in the bag, really. he has to. But it’s never that simple, is it. Ken Venturi had a four-stroke lead in the 1956 Masters, but ended up losing by one bullet to Jack Burke. Rory McIlroy went to Sunday with four clear goals in 2011 and finished with a draw in 15th place. And then there was Greg Norman in 1996. Hey Greg.
A DJ has shipped a large 54-hole lead at a major company before, of course. He went to the final round of the 2010 US Open in Pebble Beach, three times ahead of Graeme McDowell, but dropped six shots in the first four holes in a blizzard of padded chips and O / B vents. He was prone to a strange collapse.
So nothing is for sure. Everything is possible.
However. The DJ of 2020 is a very different beast than 2010. He’s got a specialty on his resume now: 2016 US Open Championships. He’s number one in the world. Its last six starts saw the termination of the T2-W-2-W-T6-T2. Here’s the real Zinger: It actually fired 65 twice this week, and yesterday’s flawless performance was one of the greatest rounds in Masters history, iron-lit at 2 and nearly resulted in the second ever competitive albatross in that particular hole. It is not doing anything wrong. What a man. He really should have shut this thing off.
However, anything could happen in the final round of specialization. Just last year, DJ himself nearly stalked Brooks Koepka, seven clear shots after 54 holes in PGA. He doesn’t quite succeed in completing the mission, but it does show what can happen when nerves rule … and the masters are known to not start until the last player reaches the tenth tee on Sunday, when tensions really start. Im, Ancer, Smith, Dylan Frittelli, Justin Thomas, Sebastian Munoz, Patrick Reed, Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Koepka, Tommy Fleetwood and Hideki Matsuyama all have the game to pounce if the big moment overwhelms the big guy. Whatever happens, this promises to be an unforgettable November afternoon. Good luck everyone, and I hope the golf god accompanies you. Let the best man become the Masters of 2020! It’s over!
-16: Dee Johnson
-12: Im Anser Smith
-9: Munoz, Reed, Ram
– 8: McIlroy, Quebeca, Fleetwood, Matsuyama
-6: Na, Champ, Konners, Casey, Ban
-5: Simpson, Chaville, Woods, Sheffler, Laurie, Willett
(United States of America unless indicated, all times are local time)
Starting at 1 …
0750 Matt Wallace (Engineer), Adam Scott (Australia), Lee Westwood (Engineer)
0801 Billy Horschel, Danny Willett (engineer), Mark Lichman (Australia)
0812 Tiger Woods, Scotty Sheffler, Shane Lowry (Earl)
0823 Webb Simpson, Cheng-Tsung Pan (Tai), Xander Schauffele
0834 Cameron Champ, Corey Konners (Canada), Paul Casey (engineer)
0845 Hideki Matsuyama (Japan), Patrick Cantlay, Kevin Na
0856 Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy (NIrl), Tommy Fleetwood (Eng)
0907 Patrick Reed, Sebastian Munoz (Colonel), John Ram (Spa)
0918 Cameron Smith (Australia), Dylan Fretelli (Rsa), Justin Thomas
0929 Sungjae Im (Kor), Dustin JohnsonAbraham Anser (Mix)
… and at 10 o’clock
0750 Justin Rose (Engineer) Louis Ostwizen (Rsa) Nick Taylor (Canada)
0801 Bryson DeChambeau, Charl Schwartzel (Rsa), Bernhard Langer (Germany)
0812 Si Woo Kim (Core), Shoujo Imahira (Japan), Bubba Watson
0823 Ian Poulter (Engineer), (a) Andy Ugletree, Mike Ware (Canada)
0834 Charles Howell III, Colin Morikawa, Jazz Ganywatanund (Tha)
0845 Chez Reavie, Rickie Fowler, Sung Kang (Kor)
0856 Tony Vinau (a) John Eugenstein and Christian Buchenhout (Rsa)
0907 Matthew Fitzpatrick (Engineer), Victor Perez (FRA), Zach Johnson
0918 Jordan Speth, Phil Mickelson, Raphael Cabrera Bello (spa)
0929 Jimmy Walker, Brandt Snedeker, Bernd Weisberger (cars)