Pushed down the Masters headlines from Bryson DeChambeau’s muscles and Tiger Woods’ chances at repeating, is Dustin Johnson. The 36-year-old is playing like a major champion, and is flying under the radar.
Johnson is 9/1 at several sportsbooks, behind 8/1 favorite DeChambeau, who many prognosticators have all but handed the green jacket. I’m not ready to anoint DeChambeau just yet, however. Instead, with the week’s One Bet, $100, I’m putting my money on Johnson to win his second major championship.
With my last bet, I took Rory McIlroy to finish ahead of Jon Rahm at the Zozo Championship. McIlroy tied for 17th, which was well behind Rahm, who tied for second.
One Bet, $100
|Dustin Johnson to win
|Lost: McIlroy to beat Rahm
|1-4, Down $419
There are several reasons for taking Johnson at the Masters this week. The first reason is his record at Augusta National. Johnson finished tied for second last year, a stroke behind winner Tiger Woods. The year before that, he tied for 10th. In 2016 he finished tied for fourth, and the year before, he was tied for sixth.
Johnson told reporters on Tuesday that he felt like he played well enough to win, but his putting let him down.
“Last year, I played great over the weekend,” Johnson said. “On Sunday, too, I felt like I played really good golf. You know, just didn’t get enough putts to go in the hole. Hit some good putts. They just were burning the edges. You know, it was a lot of fun. Obviously I’ve been in this situation enough times on Sundays in majors where I can feed off those experiences and kind of know what to expect. It was a lot of fun. I’ve had a couple [of] good finishes here the last couple [of] years.”
Johnson Peaking Good Sign for Masters
Another reason that I like Johnson to win the Masters is his recent performances. His latest tournament was last week at the Houston Open where he finished tied for second. Johnson said he feels like he is playing some of the best golf he has played in recent memory.
“Yeah, coming off a great year and a good finish last week, got a lot of confidence in the game and really looking forward to this year’s Masters,” Johnson said.
In addition to his tie for second last week, Johnson finished tied for sixth at the US Open in September, and tied for second at the PGA Championship in August. He also won the Fed Ex Cup after finishes of first, second, and first at the three playoff events.
It reminds Johnson of a stretch he had in 2017 when he won three tournaments leading up to the Masters, but had to withdraw with a freak back injury he suffered falling down a set of stairs just before the start of the major.
“I would say it’s really similar,” Johnson said. “Very similar. Obviously I was playing great coming into the Masters in 2017, but (my game) is really similar to what it was then. I’m playing the best golf of my career.”
Why Johnson Will Win
Not only is Johnson playing the best golf of his career, he’s peaking at the right time. That’s a dangerous combination, and should bode well for him.
Augusta National is a golf course with plenty of nuance, and golfers have said it takes years to get comfortable there. I believe Johnson is at that point, and while the emphasis might be on DeChambeau, Johnson is the better bet this week.