The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Dustin Johnson wins the Masters with a record-shattering performance

Dustin Johnson finished 20 under par to win his first Masters championship. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/AP)

AUGUSTA, Ga. — On the leader board and in the record books, the conclusion to the 2020 Masters was an absolute blowout. Dustin Johnson, the blank-faced, does-he-have-a-pulse South Carolinian with the long strides and longer drives, blew away the field by five shots. He set a new scoring record at 20 under par to close a Masters unlike any other — in the fall without fans, just for starters. Simple as that.

But in reviewing what Johnson accomplished with a final-round 68 that matched the day’s best score — putting behind a case of the coronavirus earlier this fall, suppressing some personal demons of past majors gone awry, dusting Australia’s Cameron Smith and South Korea’s Sungjae Im to win his first green jacket — don’t dismiss the following notion: He could have collapsed. He might even have been collapsing. And he didn’t.