Bill Elliott takes a look back over the action on day three at the Masters and marvels at the "quietly, efficiently brilliant" Dustin Johnson
In the end it was the shoot-out that used blanks. Augusta National was subdued, Dustin Johnson was quietly, efficiently brilliant, his second 65 of the week taking him to 16 under par and a big jump ahead of the pack at the 2020 Masters.
It’s hard not to think that this Masters is over and that the tall, gangly bloke with the beard and the sleepy walk is the new champ.
Except for the fact that this is the Masters, this is Augusta, weird things can happen, even Johnson’s becalmed brain can be scrambled at the thought of such a big prize.
First though, when play gets going in the final round, Johnson has to start feeling pressure and begin dropping shots if this Masters is to breath some real life back into itself. Although he can occasionally fall down stairs, it’s hard to see who can stop him hanging up a green jacket in his wardrobe.
What is certain is that he is taking a four shot lead into this last round and though not insurmountable over these rolling, deceptive acres, that is a serious barricade for the World No.1 to take with him.
What will help him is the absence of fans for Johnson seems to spend most of his professional life having a whispering conversation with himself. When he is playing golf he doesn’t need company or so it seems. This is great for him but not for us.
He may be a hero to many of you but he remains an ambling and somewhat remote figure, a golfer it is easy to admire and respect but who does not encourage too much excitement. Not in my house anyway.
His nearest rivals, those four shots behind are Major rookies, two of them making their Masters debut. Korea’s golfaholic – he plays more weeks than anyone else on the PGA Tour – is Sungjae Im, an impressive talent at just 22. Sungjae will play alongside the leader tomorrow.
Im or him to win? Let me see now…
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