AUGUSTA, GA — Dustin Johnson did not claim ignorance Sunday afternoon. He knew what to do, just didn’t do it well enough.
“There are a few spots you can’t hit, and it seemed like late on Friday and (Saturday) I hit it in all the spots you can’t hit it,” the Columbia native said after shooting a final-round 70 at the Masters. “I know where I can’t hit it. I just hit poor golf shots.”
Johnson led this event after his first 31 holes at Augusta National Golf Club after birdieing No. 13 on Friday to move to 7-under, two shots in front of the field. He dropped six shots that afternoon and averaged par golf in his final two days to finish the tournament 1-under, good enough for a tie for 13th place.
Johnson, the sixth-ranked golfer in the world, said his Friday afternoon position atop the leader board was a bit of a mirage.
“I was scoring really well, (but) I wasn’t really playing great golf,” he said. “I had a tough finish on Friday. The game is getting a lot better. Still struggled at times but played pretty solid all around today.”
Sunday’s finish was Johnson’s best in four Masters appearances, and the best by a South Carolinian in this year’s field. Greenville resident Bill Haas shot an even-par 72 Sunday to finish 1-over, tied for 20th, and Clemson alumnus Lucas Glover fired a second consecutive 73 to finish 6-over, all alone in 49th place.
Johnson will be back in action today although in a more relaxed format. He is the headliner at the Monday After the Masters Celebrity Pro-Am in North Myrtle Beach, or at least he was until he persuaded hockey legend Wayne Gretzky (the father of his girlfriend) to play in the tournament.
“We’re headed there right now,” Johnson said as he ended his media session following his round. “Coming back next year, I definitely learned a lot this year and, hopefully, will contend better next year.”