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With the golf world simply grateful just to have a Masters in November, there was not much made of Dustin Johnson's winning number at the last major championship of 2020. Johnson's 268 to win by five strokes was written off as a bit of an oddity due to starkly different fall conditions than those present when the tournament is held annually in April.

Nine golfers in all reached double digits under par at Augusta National last November. D.J. set the new scoring record at 20 under, and Cameron Smith became the first golfer to shoot all four rounds in the 60s during a tournament week. That's all going to change when first shots are in the air in just over two weeks at the first major championship held in 2021. At least, the 2020 champion believes it will.

"I played it two weeks ago, and the course is in immaculate condition," said Johnson last week. "It looks like it's shaping up to be a normal Masters, and so I'm really looking forward to that."

And why wouldn't he? Johnson has lost to just 18 golfers total across the last five Masters. He's beaten or tied 96% of the field and finished no worse than T10 in his last five outings at Augusta National (he missed the 2017 tournament with an injury). 

"It's definitely not going to be as soft as it was," he added. "So you know, you just have to be able to land the ball in different spots. November, the greens were soft, so you could be a lot more aggressive with longer clubs because they would stop and then hold the green. I would imagine it's going to be pretty firm and fast, especially if they have good weather."

This is good news for ball-strikers like Johnson and other top players in the world, including Lee Westwood, who has two runner-up finishes in his last three events and five top-eight finishes at Augusta since 2010. Westy played Augusta just after nearly winning The Players Championship and before he missed the cut at the Honda Classic last week.

"I will say it's as hard as I've seen Augusta play, even when it's been the week of the Masters," said Westwood. "It was cold [when I played], 4, 50 degrees. It was playing long, and the greens were like rock. They were really releasing out. It was a tough couple of days to play Augusta."

Music to the ears of those bemoaning four-round scores in the -- gasp -- 260s just four months ago. What will be interesting is just how difficult it gets. Even in April, three of the past five champions have been well into the double digits under par, highlighted by Jordan Spieth's 18-under number in 2015. Much of that will depend on the wind and the temperature, of course. But I would imagine after scoring dropped so mightily in 2020, those in charge at Augusta National will push as hard as they can to host the toughest, fastest championship they can this time around.