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Hindsight

Masters 2024: Why Fred Ridley puts Dustin Johnson's 2020 win in a different category, and not necessarily in a good way

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JD Cuban

AUGUSTA, Ga.—Augusta National doesn’t often poke fun at itself, but Masters chairman Fred Ridley was willing to go there Wednesday during his pre-tournament press conference.

Ridley was speaking to a serious point when asked about whether the club might ever hold a women’s professional tournament, including the possibility of a one-off event such as a Solheim Cup. In answer the question, he noted the difficulty the course would have in finding an appropriate spot on the calendar to do so. The club is closed from mid-May until October, and the Masters (along with the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and the Drive Chip & Putt national final) essentially eliminate anything in the spring.

As for the fall, Ridley noted that the course doesn’t play the want the club wants it to for a major championship at that time.

And here’s where Ridley had a little fun:

“It doesn't play the way we want it to play in the fall for a major tournament. We did have one, one time, and Dustin Johnson did very well.”

He was referring, of course, to 2020 when COVID forced Augusta National to postpose the Masters until November. That year, Johnson won the green jacket with a record 20-under 268 total, two shots lower than any winning score when the event has been played in April.

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Ross Kinnaird

Ridley then offered up a tidbit from the Champions Dinner on Tuesday.

“And as a matter of fact, [Johnson] pulled me aside … we had a nice conversation after the Champions Dinner last night, and he said, ‘You know, I think my 20 under is safe.’ And I said, ‘Well, I think I think you're right, unless we have another tournament in November.’

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