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Yearender 2020: Dustin Johnson redeems himself after battling the virus

Dustin Johnson

Bengaluru, January 2: Though the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) brought the entire world to its knees in 2020, Dustin Johnson reclaimed his place as golf's leading player, shrugged off his own brush with the virus, and won the rescheduled Masters in stunning style.

The pandemic decimated the golfing calendar, with dozens of events cancelled, including the Open Championship, the sport's oldest major, which was not held for the first time since 1945.

The PGA Championship, won by Collin Morikawa in August, was the only major played in the 2019-20 season. The Masters and US Open were moved to the end of 2020 and made part of the 2020-21 season, with the Ryder Cup also pushed to next year.

Second major

Second major

Johnson, who cemented his place as one of the best of his generation, won the second major title of his career despite testing positive for COVID-19 a month before teeing off at Augusta National in November.

He emerged from golf's three-month hiatus in sparkling form, winning the Travelers Championship when play resumed in June with fans barred. He also led the PGA Championship after 54 holes before settling for a share of second place.

Nightmare for Woods

Nightmare for Woods

While Augusta gave Johnson the chance to fulfil his childhood dream, it proved a nightmare for Tiger Woods.

The 15-time Major champion's hopes of defending the title he won to such acclaim last year ended in despair when he struck a 10 on the par-three 12th hole on the final day.

Missing the cut

Missing the cut

Woods also missed the cut at the rescheduled US Open in September and finished in a tie for 37th place at the PGA Championship.

Johnson showed mental toughness in 2020, but Bryson DeChambeau took a different route to success, spending lockdown in the gym and packing on about 30 pounds (14 kg) of muscle.

Westwood shines

Westwood shines

Across the pond, Englishman Lee Westwood ended the year as the European Tour's top golfer for the third time after winning the Race to Dubai.

Golf also mourned several deaths in 2020, including 13-time Major champion Mickey Wright (85), the only LPGA golfer to hold all Major titles at the same time, and former Ryder Cup player and commentator Peter Alliss (89).

(With inputs from Agencies)

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Story first published: Saturday, January 2, 2021, 9:49 [IST]
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