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
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
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.
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).