Dustin Johnson equalled two impressive Masters records and it’s all but over. Alex Perry wraps up the big talking points from day three at Augusta
This one’s over, folks. Go home. Nothing to see here. There is no way even Dustin Johnson loses it from here.
Yes, DJ’s major record is questionable at best – before this week he had led at the end of a round in a major on 12 occasions and he only has one to his name – and yes, the pundits will tell you anything can happen in the final round at Augusta.
But the man is on fire. Have you seen his form in the past few weeks?
Aside from that odd couple of weeks after he won the Travelers where he missed the cut with a pair of 80s at the Memorial followed by a withdrawal at the 3M Open, but take those out and his run reads 1-12-2-1-2-1-6-2.
That final runner-up spot – at last week’s Houston Open – came immediately after he left a hotel room where he’d been holed up for two weeks with Covid. The man is an animal.
And with absolutely zero disrespect intended to the chasing pack of Sungjae Im, Abraham Ancer and Cameron Smith – with their 20 or so major appearances and three PGA Tour wins between them – the only other player in double digits under par that Johnson will be worried about is Justin Thomas. But he’s six back and has an equally underwhelming major reputation as our leader.
The truth is it’s going to take a Greg Norman or Rory McIlroy level meltdown for the Green Jacket to be cosying over anyone else’s back on Sunday evening.
As McIlroy himself said of DJ on Saturday: “He’s got one of the best attitudes towards golf in the history of the game. I don’t know if I can compare him to anyone else, but the way he approaches the game is awesome.”
The only person who can stop DJ now? DJ himself.
Unfounded rumour of the day
Word on the street is as Johnson left the 18th green he was heard saying to one of the public relations team: “Just so you know, my jacket size is 44 long and my right arm is a bit longer than my left.”
Langer’s slice of Masters history
There was an incredible statistic from author Joe Peta doing the rounds on Twitter on Friday. It was referencing Bernhard Langer’s longevity.
The German’s first major was the 1976 Open. That also happened to be Gene Sarazen’s last.
This week, Langer competed against Abel Gallegos, the Argentinean teenager making his major bow.
Gene Sarazen was born in 1902, Gallegos was born in 2002.
What other sport could one player compete with two others born 100 years apart in their career? Utterly astonishing.
Langer cut himself another slice of history at Augusta on Saturday when he became the oldest player to make the cut at the Masters, edging Tommy Aaron’s record for 20 years by six months. And, thanks to Mercedes-Benz, we were able to get a couple of questions to the 63-year-old after his round.
“I saw Tommy at the Champions Dinner on Tuesday. I told him his
record of making the cut at 63 is an impressive achievement but I warned him that I was coming after it, and that I had a chance this week. He laughed and wished me luck. And here we are.
“It’s not easy to make the cut here, especially in recent years as the golf course has become much longer, so it is hard for us 50- and 60-year-olds to make the cut. It is not surprising that Tommy’s record stood for so long.”
By the way – the only two people that hit 18 fairways in the third round? DJ and BL.
Remember that stat from yesterday which said that in majors since 2015 Rory McIlroy’s combined first-round score is 280-over and his combined second- to fourth-round scores is 56-under?
It’s now 61-under after the Northern Irishman carded a 5-under 67 on Saturday to move into the top 10.
McIlroy sole bogey on Saturday came at the 13th – his first dropped shot since the 16th hole of his opening round – and that hole has been something of a thorn in his side this week, as my colleague Dan Murphy points out…
And while that tweet was written before Johnson finished his round, but McIlroy even if he’d birdied it in each round he’d still be five off the lead – but at least we’d have a ball game.
Jordan Spieth rolling in a 15-footer to make the cut on the number. That is all.
Bryson DeChambeau came back on Saturday morning to finish his second round and it did not go well for the US Open champion, with a bogey at 18 meaning a 2-over 74 and making the cut by the skin of his teeth.
In his post-round interview, DeChambeau said he was feeling “a little dizzy”, “a little weird”, and “not 100 per cent”.
He revealed he got checked for Covid and that came back negative, before adding: “I just feel kind of dull and numb out there, just not fully aware of everything, and making some silly, silly mistakes.
“I don’t know what it is. There’s like something in my stomach that’s just not doing well.”
Obviously we all hope he’s OK, but he also revealed he’s gone from three or four protein shakes a round to eight or nine.
I’m no expert but I think even the most iron of stomachs would struggle to cope with that.
And the ugly
Let’s check in on Hideki Matsuyama’s outfit…
Ah. Still horrific.
Deks, mate, you’ve got 30-odd mil in the bank. Let’s go shopping.
Shot of the day
There’s nothing quite like watching Shane Lowry work his way around a golf course.
Right, I’m off. I’ve been roped into a 25-mile bike ride on Sunday by a mate. That’s allowed, you see, but golf isn’t.
See you in the evening for the unveiling of 2020 Masters champion Dustin Johnson.
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