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Defending Masters champion Dustin Johnson pins missed cut on his balky putter


AUGUSTA, Ga. — It was not a reasonably finish for the defending champion.

Dustin Johnson, a lot in charge of his sport and Augusta National Golf Club 5 months in the past, regarded misplaced and perplexed Friday.

And his brief reign was over after a brief week: he missed the cut after a 75 that included solely 5 pars.

Johnson completed at 5-over 149 and bogeyed three of his final 4 holes after coming to the fifteenth tee – a gap he has performed at 17-under and birdied or eagled in additional than half of his Masters rounds – with a transparent path to taking part in on the weekend: make a birdie to get to 1-over for the match and discover a solution to play the final three holes at 1-over or higher, and he can be taking part in.

His quest to have an opportunity, nevertheless distant, of being the primary repeat winner at Augusta since Tiger Woods in 2001 and 2002 was actually doused when his second shot at No. 15 from the golf green, and solely 159 yards out, landed on the entrance of the inexperienced and rolled again into the water.

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Johnson made solely his fourth profession bogey on the gap, then bogeyed the seventeenth on a three-putt from 69 toes and added one other on the final when his drive went into the golf green bunker and his second shot was effectively wanting the inexperienced.

His pitch went 12 toes previous the opening, and he left the par try brief.

Johnson missed solely his second cut in 11 Masters begins, and his early week snapped a streak of 5 consecutive top-10 finishes. His opening spherical broke a streak of 11 sub-par rounds in a row at Augusta.

In a short cease to remark to the media, he laid the blame on his putter, and he wasn’t flawed: Johnson has 4 three-putts within the second spherical, six for the match and stated he by no means found out the pace, leaving putts woefully brief or banging them too far previous the opening.

“Six three-putts in two rounds, you just can’t do that,” he stated. “Obviously didn’t drive it great but drove it good enough, and I felt like I … never was really too bad out of position. Just the three-putts killed me. You take all the three-putts away, I’m 1-under. That was kind of the difference. My speed was awful.”

He stated he didn’t really feel any extra strain as defending champion.

“Obviously I wanted to be around for the weekend,” he stated. “I like this golf course. I feel like I play it very well. I just didn’t putt very good. It’s pretty simple.”

Johnson started the day with a visit to the timber on the left at No. 1, did not clear them with his second shot (it glanced off one other tree trunk) and he missed a 45-foot putt for par.

Although he did not birdie No. 2 (he three-putted from 50 toes), Johnson fought again when he birdied No. 3 on a 12-foot putt and No. 4 on an 8-foot putt after maybe his greatest iron shot of the day.

The two pictures he gained had been misplaced at No. 5 when he pushed his drive into the timber on the appropriate and had shot with just about no backswing. He barely reached the golf green, obtained on in three, then had one other three-putt for double.

A bogey at No. 6 was adopted by one other temporary rally.

Johnson birdied No. 8 after a artistic pitch from behind the big mound on the left, hitting the ball previous the opening and permitting the slope on the opposite aspect to deliver it again inside 6 toes.

He birdied No. 9 from the second cut on the appropriate on a 15-foot putt and was even-par for the day and one shot underneath the cut line.

But it didn’t final. He bogeyed No. 10, lacking from 6 toes after blasting out of the greenside bunker. His final birdie of the 2021 Masters got here at No. 12, on a 5-foot putt, however an opportunity to present himself much more of a cushion was missed at No. 13 when hit his second shot over the inexperienced and flubbed his chip, settling for par.

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