Johnson Carries Four-Shot Lead Into Final Round


Dustin Johnson watching shot

Dustin Johnson carries a four-shot lead and the -295 odds-on favorite status entering the final round of play at the Masters. Photo by Keith Allison (flickr).

  • Dustin Johnson is the -295 odds-on favorite to win the 2020 Masters Tournament
  • Johnson carries a four-shot lead into Sunday’s final round of play
  • Five of the last nine Masters winners weren’t in the lead after three rounds

Anyone who thinks that Dustin Johnson is home and cooled out and just waiting to be fitted for his green jacket really hasn’t watched a lot of Masters tournaments.

Yes, Johnson holds a commanding four-shot lead entering Sunday’s final round. True, he’s an overwhelming -295 odds-on favorite in the Masters odds.

Augusta National, though, has a history of overwhelming favorites.

Tiger Woods, last year’s Masters champion, never led until the final day of play.

2020 Masters Tournament Odds

Golfer Odds To Win Top 5 Odds Top 10 Odds First-Round Score
Dustin Johnson -295 -10000 -10000 -16
Cameron Smith +1400 -136 -560 -12
Sung-jae Im +1400 -136 -560 -12
Abraham Ancer +1600 -125 -500 -12
Justin Thomas +2000 +100 -345 -10
Joh Rahm +3300 +164 -250 -9
Dylan Frittelli +4000 +200 -225 -11
Rory McIlroy +6600 +300 -159 -8
Patrick Reed +6600 +275 -159 -9
Brooks Koepka +8000 +400 -136 -8

Odds as of Nov. 14th at DraftKings.

Five of the last nine Masters winners were trailing after three rounds were in the books.

Johnson On Record Pace

Johnson’s three-round score of -16 equals the best 54-hole total in Masters history. That’s one good omen he’s got going for him.

Jordan Spieth set the 54-hole scoring record at Augusta in 2015. That year, he became just the fifth player in Masters history to lead the tournament wire-to-wire.

Johnson, Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas entered Round 3 in a three-way tie for the lead. It’s the first time in golf history that the top-three ranked players in the world shared the lead at a tournament.

Johnson stepped up Saturday to display to everyone why he’s currently rated #1 in the world. He shot a seven-under par 65 to gain his commanding four-shot advantage.

The previous world #1 to lead at Augusta through three rounds was Woods in 2001. He won the tournament.

Make America Golf Again

Americans have won the past two Masters Tournaments – Woods last year and Patrick Reed in 2018. Reed carried a three-shot advantage into the final round two years ago.

However, in the last three US election years in which the country voted in a new President, foreign-born players have won the Masters. That list includes England’s Danny Willett (2016), South Africa’s Trevor Immelman (2008) and Fiji’s Vijay Singh (2000).

Johnson’s four closest pursuers are all foreign-born players – Mexico’s Abraham Ancer, Australia’s Cameron Smith, South Korea’s Sung-jae Im and South Africa’s Dylan Frittelli. Im could make history. No Asian player has ever won the Masters.

In the recently-concluded Presidential election, the Democrats took Georgia, home to Augusta National, for the first time since 1992. That year, as Democrat Bill Clinton won the White House, American Fred Couples won the Masters.

Coming From Off The Pace

The lore of Augusta includes a litany final-round collapses by tournament leaders. Over the past nine years, five Masters winners came from off the pace entering the final round. Three of them came from at least three shots back after 54 holes.

Last year, Woods was two shot backs entering Sunday’s action. Willett started the final round of the 2016 Masters three shots behind Spieth and made the turn on Sunday five strokes out of the lead.

Adam Scott (2013) was one shot back entering the final round. Bubba Watson (2012) was three behind.

Charles Schwartzel (2011) is the template for this year’s pursuers to follow. The South African entered play Sunday four shots back of leader Rory McIlroy.

Can Anyone Catch Johnson?

Assume Johnson shoots even-par 72 on Sunday. That would mean one of Im, Ancer, or Smith would need at least 67 to beat him.

They’ve all done so or better during this tournament. However, Johnson so far has sandwiched a 70 between a pair of 65s. He’s the first player in tournament history to card two rounds of 65 or better in the same Masters.

It’s difficult to envision any golfer making up five shots on Johnson over the final 18 holes.

Johnson is just the fourth leader in tournament history to shoot 66 or better in Round 3. All three of the previous golfers to do so won the event.

Here’s what Johnson has shot in his last five Masters final rounds: 70, 69, 71, 69, 70.

Barring an epic collapse, no one is catching him. There’s just one question left for Johnson to answer on Sunday.

What’s his jacket size?

Pick: Dustin Johnson (-295). 

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Robert Duff

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