World number one Dustin Johnson will go into the 2021 US Masters in April looking to become the first back-to-back winner of the Major Championship since Tiger Woods managed the feat in 2002.
Johnson was dominant at Augusta back in November, prevailing with a score of -20, which was enough for a five-shot margin of victory. His score of 268 was a record in the US Masters and it brought up the American’s second Major success of his career.
Given the way he played across the four days, it is no surprise that Johnson is the +650 favorite in the golf betting for the Green Jacket. He tops that market ahead of Rory McIlroy and Bryson DeChambeau, who are both available at +900.
2020 Was A Big Year For Johnson
The 36-year-old had a fantastic year in 2020. Not only was he victorious in Georgia, but he also had tournament wins in the Travelers Championship, The Northern Trust and Tour Championship. With 24 PGA Tour successes now, he has strengthened his position as one of the best of his generation.
As the results have shown over the last three decades, defending a Masters title is not easy. Woods was at the very peak of his game when he achieved it 19 years ago. Between 2000 and 2002, the American won six Major Championships.
Just like Woods in the early 00s, Johnson should be playing with a great amount of confidence at the moment. The quick turnaround between renewals of the Major could work in his favour. Conditions are likely to be different to what they were in November, however, the shape of the course is the same.
Johnson has long been considered as a contender at Augusta due to his long game. The American is able to score heavily on the par-five holes on the course. He also knows the course very well as he made his debut in this tournament all the way back in 2009.
Putting Has Improved Over Last 12 Months
The area of his game that Johnson has sometimes struggled with throughout his career has been his putting. His misfortunes on the greens look to be well behind him now as he has really shone with the putter.
DJ has particularly been strong recently between 10 and 20 feet on the greens. Those at Augusta often offer a great test and if the world number one’s hot putter continues, he should score heavily again in April.
Johnson trusts his brother Austin to read a lot of his putts and that partnership has worked well. They frequently discuss the line of the putt before the Masters’ winner executes his shot.
Distraction Of Being The Champion
Defending any golf tournament is never easy and this is particularly the case in the Masters as all the headlines going into the event tend to be about last year’s winner. Johnson is used to handling that pressure so it may not affect him like it would some players.
DJ will be solely be focusing on that first tee shot on the Thursday of the tournament. If he gets off to a good start again, he may take some pegging back by the rest of the field.
This year’s tournament takes place between April 8-11. It will be the 85th edition of the Major Championship.