Jack Nicklaus hails Dustin Johnson winning Masters in 'tremendous fashion'

Six-time winner Jack Nicklaus added his voice to a chorus of praise for new Masters champion Dustin Johnson after watching him join the Green Jacket club shaping the ball the opposite way to most other former Augusta National winners.

Dustin Johnson plays his shot from the 18th tee during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National. Picture: Rob Carr/Getty Images
Dustin Johnson plays his shot from the 18th tee during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National. Picture: Rob Carr/Getty Images

Nicklaus, who is now the event’s honorary starter along with Gary Player, joined Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy in singing Johnson's praises after the 36-year-old claimed his second major with a record 20-under-par 268 total in the 84th Masters.

"Dustin drove the ball fantastically," wrote Nicklaus in a series of posts on Twitter. "His irons were great. His putting was just rock solid. Put those together, and you win a major championship.

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"It’s tough to play when you take a four-shot into final round of any tournament, let alone the Masters. Not only did Dustin play with a four-shot lead, he played great, expanded his lead, broke tournament records, and did it in tremendous fashion!

"Even after making bogeys on Nos. 4 and 5, Dustin came back on No. 6 and hit a terrific iron shot to make 2. It’s as if he was saying, “I’m not going anywhere!”

"Augusta National is normally played right-to-left, but Dustin played it mostly left-to-right, and did so beautifully. Now people will say, 'I need to learn how to play left-to-right like Dustin Johnson!'

"Augusta National must have known that Dustin was going to win sooner or later, because they had a Green Jacket for Tiger Woods to slip on him that fit perfectly. It looked like Dustin just left the tailor!"

Five-time winner Woods and four-time major champion McIlroy were also impressed with the performance Johnson produced to add to his 2016 US Open win at Oakmont,

"He's an amazing athlete," said Woods. "He's one of the first guys to ever bring athleticism to our sport.

"DJ has just an amazing ability to stay calm in tough moments, and we all know as past champions how hard it is, the emotions we have to deal with out there. There's no one more suited to that, I think, than DJ."

McIlroy, who played with Johnson in the opening two rounds last week, added: "He's been knocking on the door so long, and I think since coming out the lockdown in June, he has been by far the best player in the world.

"He's got the ball on a string. He's won a few times, won a FedExCup, had a chance at Harding Park (in the US PGA Championship).

"He's had so many chances (in majors) and hasn't quite been able to close the deal, but his resume speaks for itself, how many times he's won on the PGA TOUR, how consistent he's been."

McIlroy was asked if there was anything in Johnson's personality from seeing him at close quarters that people might not be aware of.

"He's smarter than you think," replied the 31-year-old Northern Irishman. "He's switched on, more so than he lets on, more so than everyone in the media thinks. I'll just put it that way."

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