After winning the November Masters with a course record 268, Dustin Johnson is the favorite to win the 2021 Masters. Johnson is currently first in the PGA Tour rankings. He has only played in four events this season, but he finished T6 at the US Open, T2 at the Houston Open, claimed his first green jacket, and he earned a T11 finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. Johnson has had plenty of time off, so he is optimistic about becoming the first golfer to repeat as Masters champion since Tiger Woods in 2001 and 2002.
Event: 2021 Masters Tournament
Category: PGA Tour
Date: April 8 -11, 2021
Location: Augusta National Golf Course, Augusta, Georgia
2020: Dustin Johnson -20
2019: Tiger Woods -13
2018: Patrick Reed -15
2017: Sergio Garcia -9
2016: Danny Willett -5
Only Jack Nicklaus has won the Masters Tournament more often than Tiger Woods. Woods channeled the Golden Bear by winning his first green jacket in 14 years in 2019, but he is running out of time to catch Nicklaus for the all-time lead in Augusta. He is now 45 years old, and his 2019 Masters win was his first major since the 2008 US Open.
Johnson won this event by five strokes last year. That was the largest winning margin since Woods won his first Masters in 1997. He was tied with four others for the lead at -9 heading into the weekend, and then he pulled away with a 65 on Saturday and a 68 on Sunday. Im Sung-Jae and Cameron Smith tied for second at -15, while Justin Thomas was a distant fourth at -12.
There is no more distinctive course in the United States than Augusta National. While it doesn’t have the natural beauty of Pebble Beach or the difficulty of Winged Foot, it has a certain flare all its own. The prestige surrounding this event is greater than all other tournaments at this point. It is the only one of golf’s four majors to take place on the same course each year.
Bryson DeChambeau and Rory McIlroy are both searching for their first Masters wins. DeChambeau has never finished in the top 20 at Augusta, and only two of his 16 rounds here have finished in the 60s. He finished 34th here last year, 18 shots behind Johnson. The big hitter won the US Open in September though, and he must be feared due to his immense power.
As for McIlroy, he has been close, but he has never finished better than fourth. He has six T10 finishes at Augusta in his last seven trips, so it feels like a breakthrough is imminent. McIlroy has four major victories, but it’s now been seven years since his last major title.
A Longshot With A Shot
Bubba Watson has won the Masters twice in his career. He only has 12 career victories on the PGA Tour, but he has continually played well at Augusta. Watson won this event in 2012 and 2014, and he finished fifth here in 2018. However, he hasn’t won a tournament since the 2018 Travelers Championship.