'That's harsh': Aussie denied Masters glory in cruel anomaly

Andrew Reid
·4-min read
Pictured here, Australian Cameron Smith at the 2020 Masters.
Cameron Smith became the first man in Masters history to shoot four straight rounds in the 60s. Pic: Getty

Cameron Smith grabbed an incredible slice of history at the Masters but unfortunately for the Aussie, it wasn't enough to stop Dustin Johnson claiming his first green jacket.

Johnson shed his unwanted tag of one-major wonder, denying Smith and South Korean Sungjae Im, who both finished in a tie for second after final-round 69s.

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Smith's effort was his fourth consecutive sub-70 score at Augusta - the Aussie becoming the first player in the history of the Masters to accomplish the feat in the major tournament.

The Aussie also shot the best score ever by a player to finish second at the Masters (tied with Im).

However, the 27-year-old Queenslander's extraordinary feat was outdone by Johnson whose 20-under score was the lowest in Masters history.

Johnson’s four-round total of 268 is the lowest 72-hole score ever seen at the Masters, edging out the 270 shot by Tiger Woods (1997) and Jordan Spieth (2015).

The American's effort is also the equal-lowest under-par score in any major championship.

Smith can take consolation from the fact that he is the first player in the 84-year history of the Masters to shoot four rounds in the 60s.

Fans couldn't help but feel for the Aussie though, after his impressive record failed to yield a green jacket.

"That's pretty harsh to get that record and not win," three-time Masters winner Nick Faldo said.

Johnson wins Masters in record manner

Despite Smith's impressive display, the 2020 Masters belonged to Johnson, who finally converted his World No.1 form into a maiden major title at Augusta.

"I don't even know what to say. I'm so excited, it's hard to even talk," Johnson said.

The 36-year-old has been a dominant force in golf for some time, without validating his standing, winning at least one PGA Tour event in every season since getting his tour card in 2008.

But it had often been suggested a resume of 23 wins, one major and a FedExCup title were not enough reward for his prodigious talent.

But the 24th victory has cemented his place amongst the all-time greats as a Masters champion forever more.

Seen here, 2020 Masters champion Dustin Johnson with his trophy for winning the major.
Dustin Johnson claimed his first green jacket with a record score of 20-under. Pic: Getty

The title adds to his 2016 US Open championship after he overcame a hoodoo of failing to convert his previous four 54-hole leads in majors.

The world No. 1 led by four strokes entering the final round before Smith closed the gap to two shots with a three-under front nine.

But Johnson surged ahead on the back nine, three consecutive birdies at 13, 14 and 15 giving his rivals no chance at catching up.

He joined Australian Jason Day and Sweden's Henrik Stenson as the only players to post 20 under in a major.

Johnson's 24th PGA Tour win takes him into a tie for 26th on the all-time win list with South African legend Gary Player, the winner of three Masters titles.

Johnson has threatened to win a green jacket for years, having finished in the top 10 in his past four attempts before his victory, including being runner-up to Tiger Woods last year.

This is also Johnson's 20th top-10 finish in majors with two wins and four runner-ups.

The Masters was postponed to November from its usual April timeslot due to the COVID-19 pandemic and was played without patrons.

Only a few members of Augusta National, volunteers, media and officials plus close family and friends were there to witness history.

with AAP

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