Masters chances: Can Dustin Johnson bring home a major?

Jay Busbee

This week before the Masters tees off, we'll be sizing up the green-jacket chances of many of golf's top players. We continue with a guy who's got some substantial recent experience in losing major tournaments; maybe now's the time he wins one.

Dustin Johnson

Current world ranking: 11

So far this year: He's played in eight events and made six cuts, carding three top 10s. His best finish is a solo second at Doral, followed by a T3 at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Record at Augusta: He's played twice, posting T30 and T38 in 2009 and 2010.

Why he could win: With an average driving distance of 310 yards, Johnson ranks third on tour. That kind of length means that he gets up on the dance floor in a hurry, taking an approach shot or two per round off the card. He's also got an uncanny ability to forget the past and focus on the moment, a key element to succeeding in the glare of the Augusta spotlight.

Why he could fall short: Just because he hits it far doesn't mean he hits it on-target. He ranks 162nd in fairways hit, which obviously means he's banging the hell out of the ball but not always putting it where he wants it to go. Augusta isn't the place to wander off the path; spend too much time correcting off-the-tee mistakes and you're done early Sunday afternoon, if you even make it that far.

Our take: Johnson is primed and ready. He's an excellent bet this year at Augusta, and his distance off the tee will have the old-timers quailing in their boots. Expect him to be in one of the final pairings on Sunday, and at that point, anything could happen.

Your turn, friends. Your take on Johnson's chances at Augusta this year?

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