DJ's emotional acceptance of winning the Masters
We have become accustom to seeing the steel eyed presence of DJ, however this was contrasted with a teared up Masters Champion during his acceptance speech, at times even struggling to get his words out. We sometimes may mistake his lack of emotion for a lack of interest, however, we were proved wrong in what would be considered his biggest career achievement to date.
Johnson finished the tournament at 20 under par, a tournament record and 5 shots clear of the nearest competitors, Queenslander Cam Smith and Sung Jae Im. This was also the first time in his career he has been able to convert a 54 hole lead in to a win at a major, despite being in this position 4 times.
The Emergence of Bryson Dechambeau as a true "heavyweight" on Tour
While not everyone may agree with Bryson's tactics, everyone can agree on one fact, and that is that he's got everyone talking. With swing speeds and distances we've never seen before on a consistent basis, Bryson has taken his game to a new level in 2020. A win at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, as well as his maiden Major victory at the US Open, Bryson has been one of the best this year.
Bryson has changed his game drastically, and potentially changed how the game will be played in the future. His commitment and determination to better his game was unrivalled this year as he looked to make the most from the forced time away from tour.
The Masters with no fans
In what was a year with very little sights of normality, possibly the most notable of them all was the patron-less Masters, played in November. One of the things we enjoy most about the Masters is the iconic roars that can be heard from every distant corner of the course. This year however, only select few were invited to watch from the fairways, with each player only allowed one guest and the rest of the crowd made up of officials and Augusta members. The eerie silence echoed around Augusta, however this didn’t impact on eventual winner Dustin Johnson, who was able to play some of the best golf in the tournaments history.
The Impact of COVID-19
This wouldn’t be a 2020 summary without at least a mention of the Coronavirus. The shutdown of the PGA tour was a unique one. It began with an announcement on the Thursday morning of the Players Championship on March 13, stating that the tournament would go ahead with only a limited number of fans, they then made the call to allow no fans for the last three rounds, and finally deciding on Thursday evening to cancel the Championship and postpone the tour until at least April 9. Most disheartened of all was possibly Hideki Matsuyama. The Japanese native shot a record breaking 9 under par in the first round to hold a two shot lead.
The hiatus was of course longer than originally planned, with the restart taking part in early June, 3 months after the cancellation of the players. The restart included 13 tournaments concluded with the Tour Championship, eventually won by Dustin Johnson.
The tour must be commended in their efforts in resuming the season, no 'bubble', no asterisks next to a win, and they allowed people to watch golf when they needed it most.