Dustin Johnson looks to break through at Augusta National

Sweet swinger Johnson takes aim

Dustin Johnson

To coin a phrase from an old credit card ad, it’s time for Dustin Johnson to Master the moment.

He’s been the PGA’s top-ranked golfer for much of the past two years, is one of the game’s longest hitters and even has a major championship – the 2016 U.S. Open – to his credit.

But not a Masters.

But that could change this week when the 34-year-old native of Columbia, S.C., tees it up in the golf year’s first major, the Masters Tournament, airing Thursday through Sunday, April 11-14, on ESPN and CBS.

Johnson certainly has experienced his ups and downs at Augusta National, the florid North Georgia course where the tournament is played. He’s missed the cut a few times (2009-11) and was forced to bow out other times because of injury (2012, 2017) and personal issues (2014).

But in other years, Johnson has shown flashes of brilliance, such as when he made Masters history in 2015 by posting three eagles in the second round, a year in which he tied for sixth. And he came close in 2016, within two shots of leader Danny Willett in the final round, before a double-bogey on the 17th hole relegated him to a tie for fourth, his best finish at Augusta.

This season, his performances have also been mixed as victories at the WGC-Mexico Championship and the Saudi International have alternated with his tie for 45th at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and his tie for 30th at the WGC-HSBC Champions. So which Johnson shows up at Augusta is anyone’s guess.

Whomever does will tee it up on the 7,435-yard par-72 course against a field of the game’s best, including Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods.

Dustin Johnson

Full name: Dustin Hunter Johnson

Birth date: June 22, 1984

Birthplace: Columbia, S.C.

Height/Weight: 6 feet, 4 inches/190 pounds

College: Coastal Carolina University

Turned pro: 2007

Honors and Achievements: 2016 U.S. Open champion; 2016 PGA Tour Player of the Year; 2016 PGA Tour leading money winner; 20 PGA Tour victories; seven European Tour victories

George Dickie

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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