Masters behind him, Johnson ready to keep going in new year

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Dustin Johnson chips onto the ninth green during a practice round prior to the Tournament of Champions golf event, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at Kapalua Plantation Course in Kapalua, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Matt York)

KAPALUA, Hawaii – Dustin Johnson will have gone 53 days from tapping in for par to win the Masters by five shots to blasting his tee shot down the hill at Kapalua toward the Pacific horizon.

A little rust is inevitable, even with being on Maui for more than a week.

Motivation doesn't appear to be an issue.

“Motivation for me, it's not that hard,” Johnson said Wednesday at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he has won twice. “I like being the best. I want to continue the good play and hopefully can have a little bit better year.”

That would be hard to top.

Even a year shortened by the COVID-19 pandemic — Johnson missed two tournaments when he tested positive — he was so good over the last five months that he ended the year with the biggest margin at No. 1 in the world in six years.

There's also that green jacket from the Masters that Johnson has worn a few times at home in Florida, once for a corporate outing and another time as a guest on ESPN's College Game Day (he picked Coastal Carolina, his alma mater).

That was his crowning achievement, a victory so meaningful to him that he couldn't talk while wiping away tears. Johnson has the video of his record victory at Augusta National and still hasn't watched it. Details remain clear, especially as he goes shot-by-shot through the final round.