When Dustin Johnson emerged victorious at the 2020 Masters Tournament, it marked his first career win at the event. And with that, he got to don a green jacket and leave Augusta National Golf Club with the second major tournament victory of his career.
That's not all Johnson took away from the event, though. As the winner, he earned $2.07 million, the largest cut of the $11.5 million purse for the 2020 tournament.
It's not yet been announced what the prize money breakdown will be for the 2021 Masters, which gets underway Thursday, but it will likely be similar to what it was in 2020. If Johnson wins again (and becomes the first golfer to win a second successive Masters since Tigers Woods in 2002), he should be receiving another large payday.
Johnson, the men's No. 1 golfer in the world, is among the favorites for the 2021 tournament. He also dominated when the Masters took place in November, posting scores of 65, 70, 65 and 68 to finish 20 under par, a tournament record.
Can Johnson do it again?
"It's a tough tournament to win," Johnson said, per Stephanie Apstein of Sports Illustrated. "You're going to have to put four good rounds together, especially with the conditions, like normal conditions. You've got to do everything well. And with it firm and fast, it's just a really hard golf course because obviously any hole at any time can jump out and get you. So, you know, it's just very tough to win, I mean, to win once, and especially multiple times."
It's also difficult because of the strong competition also looking to take home the green jacket and the first-place winnings that come with it.
Jordan Spieth, who won the Masters in 2015, is playing some of his best golf in recent memory. Over the past two months, he's finished in the top 15 at six of the seven tournaments he's played in. And he's coming off a win at the Valero Texas Open—his first PGA Tour victory since the 2017 Open Championship.
He has finished tied for 21st and tied for 46th in his past two Masters appearances, but with his current form, the 27-year-old could be poised for a better showing at Augusta.
Jon Rahm, Bryson DeChambeau and Justin Thomas are among the top-ranked golfers who will be looking to win the Masters for the first time. Rahm has never won a major tournament, although he's placed in the top nine at the Masters each of the past three years.
DeChambeau finished tied for 34th at the 2020 Masters, but he fared much better at the other two major tournaments last year, placing tied for fourth at the PGA Championship and winning the U.S. Open. He's never finished better than tied for 21st at the Masters.
Last year, Thomas finished fourth at the Masters, marking his best career finish at the tournament. His lone victory in a major tournament came at the 2017 PGA Championship, but he could be getting close to winning another, especially after capturing the Players Championship title in March.
While these golfers are expected to be the top contenders, it's always possible that a sleeper gets off to a strong start and ends up battling for the win deep into the weekend. And maybe that could even lead to a surprise winner.
No matter who ends up at the top of the leaderboard come Sunday evening, it should be an exciting tournament.