Masters 2020: Dustin Johnson Takes Commanding Lead at 16 Under Entering Sunday

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistNovember 14, 2020

Dustin Johnson waits to putt on the ninth hole during the third round of the Masters golf tournament Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

Dustin Johnson has pulled away from the field with one round remaining at the 2020 Masters tournament.

The No. 1 player in the world finished the third round 16 strokes under par after carding a 65 on Saturday, one of the best showings we have seen at this event in years:

Justin Ray @JustinRayGolf

Dustin Johnson: 16-under, tying Jordan Spieth for lowest 54-hole score in the history of #TheMasters Johnson's score of 65 is the lowest third round by a 36-hole leader since Tiger Woods in 1997.

It's enough to give Johnson a four-stroke lead over Sungjae Im, Abraham Ancer and Cameron Smith, all currently tied four second place.

It's still far from over at Augusta National Golf Club with four players within five strokes and big names like Justin Thomas (-10), Jon Rahm (-9) and Rory McIlroy (-8) among those in striking distance heading into the final 18 holes.


Round 3 Leaderboard

1. Dustin Johnson (-16)

T2. Sungjae Im (-12)

T2. Abraham Ancer (-12)

T2. Cameron Smith (-12)

5. Dylan Frittelli (-11)

6. Justin Thomas (-10)

T7. Jon Rahm (-9)

T7. Patrick Reed (-9)

T7. Sebastian Munoz (-9)

T10. Rory McIlroy (-8)

T10. Brooks Koepka (-8)

T10. Tommy Fleetwood (-8)

T10. Hideki Matsuyama (-8)

Full leaderboard available at Masters.com.


There was a five-way tie for first place after 36 holes between Johnson, Thomas, Rahm, Smith and Ancer. However, one man stood apart from the field in Round 3.

Johnson kicked off the round with an eagle on No. 2, his second of the week, and kept it going with back-to-back birdies to sit at four under for the round through four holes.

The Masters @TheMasters

Dustin Johnson is now four under par on his last three holes. #themasters https://t.co/d8491D7B06

He continued his near-flawless performance with a round that featured five birdies, one eagle and no bogeys:

The Masters @TheMasters

The lead is now four for Dustin Johnson. Birdie on No. 13. #themasters https://t.co/h66gfy6Ky5


DJ is on 🔥. He's now at -16 and FOUR shots clear of the field. https://t.co/B8ARZAWdpB

Sean Zak @Sean_Zak

14/14 fairways for Dustin Johnson today. Really good!

Justin Ray @JustinRayGolf

Dustin Johnson: 47 GIR (87%) through 3 rounds this week. That is the most for any player through 3 rounds of #TheMasters since Tiger Woods in 2001 (48) the week he finished the Tiger Slam.

Charles Woodson @CharlesWoodson

Dustin johnson is almost machine like today he is dialed in @TheMasters

On the other hand, his victory is far from secure based on his history:

Jason Sobel @JasonSobelTAN

The stat you're about to hear way too many times over the next 24 hours: Dustin Johnson has held four previous 54-hole leads at major championships. He's 0-for-4 in trying to convert for victories.

Im shot a 68 to stay in contention, carding five birdies, including an impressive one on the 11th hole:

The Masters @TheMasters

Sungjae Im chips in on the first hole of Amen Corner. #themasters https://t.co/WRQakoAhjp

Ancer also continues to surprise in his first appearance at the Masters. The 29-year-old is currently at 12 strokes under par for the tournament after his 69 in Round 3. Smith also refuses to go away sitting at under 12.

Meanwhile, fans could expect a late charge from some players who have shown they can post low numbers, including McIlroy, Thomas and Brooks Koepka:

The Masters @TheMasters

Rory holes out from the bunker on No. 12 #themasters https://t.co/GKSyiyJ16I

Andrew Beaton @andrewlbeaton

Since 2015, Rory McIlroy has been +28 in the first round of majors. He's -56 in rounds 2-4. It's the biggest gap in golf—it's not even close—and it explains why one of the best players in golf has gone without winning a major for so long. https://t.co/WOvayTDqcE https://t.co/WBapcr0Yw1

The Masters @TheMasters

Justin Thomas moves to 12 under par with a birdie on No. 10. #themasters https://t.co/pVd9EHVM9K

The Masters @TheMasters

Brooks Koepka to eight under par with an eagle on No. 15. #themasters https://t.co/uNdSVGnsy4

Tiger Woods has played well but is likely out of contention after struggling to find birdies in the last two rounds. A Round 3 score of 72 puts him in a tie for 20th at under five for the week.

Bryson DeChambeau is also far off the lead (-3), although he can work his way into the top 10 if he plays well in the final round.

The championship will still come down to Sunday as Johnson tries to close out his second career major title.