Maestro music from DJ - leads by four

The Masters R3

November 12-15
Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Georgia
$11,500,000
Round 1, Round 2, Round 4




The 3rd round at the Masters is always called “moving day” for good reason and the world number one player Dustin Johnson did that in spectacular fashion with his second round of 65 during the tournament and opening up a four-stroke cushion heading into Sunday’s final.


After parring the 1st hole, Johnson eagled the par-5 2nd, birdied the 3rd and drained a curling 20-foot putt at the always difficult par-3 4th propelling him away from a cluttered leaderboard and leaving him just one round away from claiming his first green jacket and second major championship.

Johnson’s play was not marred by any score beyond par and his ball striking remained nearly flawless — hitting 16 of 18 greens in the regulation stroke during the 3rd round and bringing his tournament total to 48 of 54 greens. DJ also became the first player in Masters history to record two rounds of 65 during the event. His driving prowess was on full display during Saturday’s 3rd round — time after time playing his stock fade shot and advancing his golf ball to significant lengths off the tee.

To top matters off, DJ tied the tournament scoring record for 54 holes with a 200 total — tying the mark set by Jordan Spieth in 2015.



Scoring conditions have been most favorable. Heavy thunderstorms entered the scene just as the 1st round was getting underway but since then temperatures have been most pleasant and there’s been nary any wind. Softer greens have permitted players to be more aggressive with their play knowing full well the unpredictable ball movements from firmer surfaces have not happened. There’s also been no real wind to speak of thereby causing doubt for players in choosing the appropriate club to use when making their approach shots. 


How low has the overall scoring been? To make the final 36 holes a score of even par was needed — the lowest in event history. The overall scoring record of 270 — shared by Spieth and Tiger Woods — is in serious jeopardy. If Johnson scores 69 or better that mark will be bested.

Johnson, who tested positive for Covid-19 in October and only returned to play last week in Houston where he tied for 2nd, has always been feted for his skills but his overall wins in the major events remains at one — claiming the 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont. Closing the deal and cementing his first green jacket will be in full view with Sunday’s play.

Third round play commenced with no less than 13 players within two shots of the lead. As play progressed the jockeying was a constant shifting with various players showing flashes of brilliance at times and then committing various lapses sending them backwards. All the while, Johnson demonstrated top tier form — always in play and seemingly always looking at one birdie putt after another.



Three golfers share second — Cameron Smith, Abraham Ancer and Sungjae Im. The South Korean Im is playing in his first Masters and the 22-year-old displayed steely resolve in his attempt in becoming the first Asian player to capture the green jacket.

For DJ the wherewithal to close out a major championship remains an issue to correct. Four times he has been in that position and in each occasion, disappointment was the net result. Having won 23 times on the PGA TOUR and winning at least one time for 13 consecutive years is very impressive. Cementing his name further up the golf totem pole of greatness is now about adding major championship hardware.

Johnson expressed confidence following the round — acknowledging the long day ahead on Sunday but also emphasizing he was not going to be worried about others and would be simply doing what he has been doing.


DJ clearly displayed a maestro’s touch in Saturday’s 3rd round. But Sunday’s final round at Augusta National is unlike any other. Lead changes can happen with sudden movements. Tee times for the final round were pushed up in order to accommodate National Football League telecasts. So instead of having to wait around till mid-afternoon. as traditionally happens when the Masters is played in its usual April time frame, Johnson will be able to wake up and get on with the day ahead. 

Masters Moments

  • Tiger Woods, as defending champion will be presenting the winner with this year’s green jacket and although he started in fine fashion with an opening 68 his play since then has been stuck in neutral. Woods has only been able to better his position by one stroke and starts play Sunday at five-under-par. The broader question is can Tiger at 44 years of age summon the necessary firepower to effectively compete at the highest level
  • Much of the pre-Masters hype centered around Bryson DeChambeau given his virtuoso performance in winning the U.S. Open at Winged Foot in September. Coming into Augusta the speculation consisted of how much of an impact Bryson’s new found distance would have in propelling him to a second major. The answer — not much. Through three rounds DeChambeau is in a tie for 29th at three-under-par and will need to wait till at least the next edition of the Masters in April 2021 to attempt to win his first green jacket.
  • Watch for the fireworks when Brooks Koepka and Rory McIlroy are paired with one another for Sunday’s final round. The former world number one players have had a bit of ongoing banter between each other in recent times. Koepka is quickly returning to form from earlier injuries and McIlroy recovered from a first round 75 with both starting play at eight-under-par.
  • The feel-good story rests with the incomparable Bernhard Langer. The 63-year-old German became the oldest golfer ever to make the cut at the Masters and his play Saturday featured a 63-foot birdie putt at the 16th. Langer carded a 73 during the 3rd round and is at two-under-par for the championship. 






Pos.
Player
To Par
R1
R2
R3
Total
1
Dustin Johnson
-16
65
70
65
200
T2
Abraham Ancer
-12
68
67
69
204
T2
Sungjae Im
-12
66
70
68
204
T2
Cameron Smith
-12
67
68
69
204
5
Dylan Frittelli
-11
65
73
67
205
6
Justin Thomas
-10
66
69
71
206
T7
Sebastián Muñoz
-9
70
68
69
207
T7
Jon Rahm
-9
69
66
72
207
T7
Patrick Reed
-9
68
68
71
207
T10
Tommy Fleetwood
-8
71
66
71
208
T10
Brooks Koepka
-8
70
69
69
208
T10
Hideki Matsuyama
-8
68
68
72
208
T10
Rory McIlroy
-8
75
66
67
208
14
Patrick Cantlay
-7
70
66
73
209
T15
Paul Casey
-6
65
74
71
210
T15
Cameron Champ *
-6
68
74
68
210
T15
Corey Conners
-6
74
65
71
210
T15
Kevin Na *
-6
73
68
69
210
T15
Cheng Tsung Pan
-6
70
66
74
210
T20
Shane Lowry *
-5
74
69
68
211
T20
Xander Schauffele
-5
67
73
71
211
T20
Scottie Scheffler
-5
71
68
72
211
T20
Webb Simpson
-5
67
73
71
211
T20
Danny Willett
-5
71
66
74
211
T20
Tiger Woods
-5
68
71
72
211
T26
Billy Horschel
-4
70
70
72
212
T26
Marc Leishman *
-4
70
72
70
212
T26
Matt Wallace *
-4
69
73
70
212
T29
Bryson DeChambeau *
-3
70
74
69
213
T29
Louis Oosthuizen
-3
68
70
75
213
T29
Justin Rose
-3
67
70
76
213
T29
Charl Schwartzel *
-3
73
71
69
213
T29
Adam Scott *
-3
70
72
71
213
T29
Nick Taylor *
-3
72
72
69
213
T29
Lee Westwood *
-3
68
74
71
213
T36
Shugo Imahira *
-2
72
70
72
214
T36
Si Woo Kim *
-2
70
71
73
214
T36
Bernhard Langer
-2
68
73
73
214
T36
Collin Morikawa *
-2
70
74
70
214
T36
Andy Ogletree (a) *
-2
73
70
71
214
T36
Ian Poulter *
-2
72
71
71
214
T36
Bubba Watson *
-2
74
69
71
214
T36
Mike Weir *
-2
71
72
71
214
T44
Tony Finau *
-1
69
75
71
215
T44
Rickie Fowler
-1
70
70
75
215
T44
Charles Howell III *
-1
71
70
74
215
T44
Jazz Janewattananond
-1
69
71
75
215
T44
Sung Kang *
-1
75
69
71
215
T44
Chez Reavie *
-1
71
72
72
215
T50
John Augenstein (a)
E
69
72
75
216
T50
Christiaan Bezuidenhout *
E
69
73
74
216
T52
Matthew Fitzpatrick *
1
74
70
73
217
T52
Zach Johnson *
1
73
71
73
217
T52
Victor Perez *
1
70
71
76
217
T52
Jordan Spieth *
1
74
70
73
217
T56
Rafa Cabrera Bello *
2
73
71
74
218
T56
Phil Mickelson
2
69
70
79
218
58
Jimmy Walker *
4
71
73
76
220
T59
Brandt Snedeker *
5
71
71
79
221
T59
Bernd Wiesberger *
5
71
72
78
221
CUT
Byeong Hun An
1
72
73
145
CUT
Adam Hadwin
1
74
71
145
CUT
Max Homa
1
70
75
145
CUT
Matt Kuchar
1
70
75
145
CUT
Graeme McDowell
1
72
73
145
CUT
Andrew Putnam
1
73
72
145
CUT
Henrik Stenson
1
71
74
145
CUT
Gary Woodland
1
72
73
145
CUT
Justin Harding
2
75
71
146
CUT
Brendon Todd
2
73
73
146
CUT
Lanto Griffin
3
74
73
147
CUT
Tyrrell Hatton
3
73
74
147
CUT
Kevin Kisner
3
71
76
147
CUT
Larry Mize
3
70
77
147
CUT
Matthew Wolff
3
70
77
147
CUT
Jason Day
4
70
78
148
CUT
Tyler Duncan
4
77
71
148
CUT
Jason Kokrak
4
71
77
148
CUT
J.T. Poston
4
73
75
148
CUT
James Sugrue (a)
4
77
71
148
CUT
Fred Couples
6
77
73
150
CUT
Lukas Michel (a)
6
76
74
150
CUT
Francesco Molinari
6
72
78
150
CUT
Lucas Glover
7
77
74
151
CUT
Nate Lashley
7
75
76
151
CUT
Sandy Lyle
7
78
73
151
CUT
Yuxin Lin (a)
8
79
73
152
CUT
José María Olazábal
14
78
80
158
CUT
Abel Gallegos (a)
16
79
81
160
CUT
Andrew Landry
16
78
82
160
WD
Erik van Rooyen
4
76
76
WD
Vijay Singh
8
75
75