AUGUSTA, Ga. – The Masters Tournament has more traditions than you can count, so it might be difficult for someone to name a favorite.
Unless you're Dustin Johnson.
“I don't know if it's really a tradition, but my favorite thing about the Masters is the sandwiches,” said the current world No. 1.
“All of them.”
Johnson's opinion could change on Sunday, should he accept another Masters tradition: the green jacket. Having been born a little over an hour's drive from Augusta National Golf Club, in Columbia, South Carolina, winning this tournament has long been DJ's ultimate goal.
“Growing up as a kid … the putting green, hitting chips or putts, it was always to win the Masters,” Johnson said ahead of this week’s tournament. “[I]t was what we dreamed about winning.”
Johnson is still in search of his second career major triumph, having yet to add to his 2016 U.S. Open title. He has three runner-up finishes in majors over the last two years, including a T-2 in the 2019 Masters, when he closed in 68 to finish one back of champion Tiger Woods. It’s one of four consecutive top-10 finishes for Johnson at Augusta National.
“I just need to keep putting myself into situations, and I'm playing good enough golf, I feel like if I can put myself in position come Sunday, I like my chances, but we've got to get there first,” said Johnson, 36. “I've still got a lot more years ahead of me, so I'm not really too stressed about it.”
This will be Johnson’s second start since testing positive for COVID-19. He played well in his return, tying for second in the Vivint Houston Open. Coming off a Player of the Year campaign, Johnson compared his recent form to that of 2017, when, coming off three consecutive PGA Tour wins, we was a heavy favorite to win the Masters before withdrawing prior to the first round after injuring his back when he slipped on stairs in his rental house.
"I would say it's really similar. Very similar," Johnson said in comparing his play now to that of three-plus years ago. "Yeah, the game was in really good form [in April 2017]. But I think it's really similar to what it was then."
Perhaps a green jacket will be in order come Sunday afternoon. Along with a chicken sandwich, an egg salad, pimento cheese, Masters club ...