Dustin Johnson claims first Masters title, Cameron Smith finishes second
American Dustin Johnson has claimed his first Masters title, with a record-breaking performance at Augusta National.
Johnson, the 54-hole leader, put the result beyond doubt with three straight birdies through holes 13-14-15, giving himself a five shot buffer with three holes to play.
It was a margin he maintained, with Australia's Cameron Smith, who finished fifth at The Masters last year, recording his best ever finish at a major tournament, finishing in a tie for second.
The Australian become the first player ever to shoot four rounds in the 60s at The Masters, his 15 under score the lowest ever Masters score by a non-winner.
Johnson, already ranked number one in the world, won the US Open in 2016 but has a poor record in the final round of major championships.
However, the 36-year-old re-wrote the history books at The Masters. He finished at 20 under par, breaking the tournament record for the lowest winning score.
Tiger Woods finished at 18 under in 1997, a mark matched by Jordan Spieth in 2015.
Johnson, who started the day with a four shot advantage, said it was hard not to watch the leaderboard.
"I tried not to, but I did a bit early on," he said.
"I birdied three, which was good, then bogeyed four and five.
"I hit a great shot into six and made a birdie, that kind of settled me down."
Having blown the opportunity to win a number of majors previously, Johnson had no issues closing this one out.
"It's always tough to get it done in a major, no matter how good you're playing," he explained.
"I was nervous all day, The Masters is the biggest tournament, and the one I wanted to win the most, I felt it all day.
"I'm very proud of the way I handled myself and the way I finished off the golf tournament."
Marc Leishman vaulted up the leaderboard with a final round 68, finishing at eight under and moving into a tie for 13th, while Adam Scott shot a 73 to finish at two under.
Augusta National Golf Club was founded by Bobby Jones, the legendary amateur champion, and Clifford Roberts, an astute investment banker in New York. Upon his retirement from championship golf in 1930, Bobby Jones had hoped to realize his dream of building a golf course. Following a brief conversation with Clifford Roberts, with whom Jones had met several times during the mid-1920s, it was decided the Club would be built near Augusta, Georgia, provided a suitable piece of ground was available. Thomas Barrett, Jr., a mutual friend of Jones and Roberts, was consulted and recommended a 365-acre property called Fruitland Nurseries. An option was taken on the property for $70,000. It was decided to establish a national membership for the Club, and Jones proposed Augusta National would be an appropriate name. Construction on the new course began in the first half of 1931 and the course opened in December 1932 with a limited amount of member play. Formal opening took place in January 1933.
Looking to provide a service to golf by hosting a tournament, Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts decided to hold an annual event beginning in 1934. The final decision was made at a meeting in New York at the office of Club member W. Alton Jones. Roberts proposed the event be called the Masters Tournament, but Bobby Jones objected thinking it too presumptuous. The name Augusta National Invitation Tournament was adopted and the title was used for five years until 1939, when Jones relented and the name was officially changed. The first Tournament was held March 22, 1934, and beginning in 1940, the Masters was scheduled each year during the first full week in April.