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Dustin Johnson was on a cloud looking down on cloud nine heading down Magnolia Lane after his record-setting destruction of the golf course and field en route to winning the 2020 Masters in November.
Going back to Augusta National for the first time since he won the green jacket and fulfilled his childhood dream of winning the Masters wasn’t too bad, either.
For two days during the first week of March, Johnson and his green jacket spent time together at Augusta National taking in the grounds like he never had before and reliving his 2020 romp in which he became the only player in Masters history to reach and finish 20 under to win by five shots.
“That was pretty cool, first time back, going into the Champions Locker Room and stuff,” Johnson said Tuesday in a conference call. “That was a really neat experience. First time I spent the night on the grounds, so that was another like cool first-time experience, and had dinner in my Green Jacket.
“That was a lot of fun.”
Johnson said he doesn’t feel short-changed that his reign as Masters champion will be a short one – unless he joins Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods as the only players to win consecutive Masters.
“It wouldn’t bother me if I only had it for a day,” he said. “I’ve got one, and five months, a year, one month, a day, it doesn’t really make a difference to me. Probably the coolest thing was when I went back up to Augusta and got to wear my jacket when I was on property.”
He played a couple rounds on the trip.
“The course is in immaculate condition. It looks like it’s shaping up to be a normal Masters, and so I’m really looking forward to that,” he said. “I’m pretty sure when I was playing on most of the holes, I was definitely thinking about the shot that I hit on that Sunday when I played.”
While there, Johnson learned his locker mate is Fuzzy Zoeller. But he did not finalize what he will serve to Zoeller and others among the green jacket fraternity on Tuesday night of Masters week at the Champions Dinner.
“I should be able to tell you tomorrow. I’ve got a call when we’re done to do the menu,” Johnson said.
Hopefully, he won’t be too nervous at the dinner to enjoy the meal he’ll serve, not like he was when he started the final round of last year’s Master with the lead.
“I was definitely nervous starting the day because obviously it meant so much to me. So I was feeling it from kind of the time when I woke up,” he said. “I couldn’t hardly even eat any breakfast, really. Took a couple bites. But it was hard to get down for some reason, which I’ve never had that problem before.
“And then on the course, too, I remember walking the seventh trying to eat a little bit of an almond butter and jelly sandwich and took one bite and had to wash it down with water, and that was the only way I could get it down. I was definitely a little nervous, not in a bad way, more just because it meant so much to me.”