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Dustin Johnson won the most dramatic LIV Golf League event to date with a banked-in 30-foot eagle putt on the first hole of a three-man playoff on Sunday. The victory at LIV Boston is D.J.’s first in the LIV Golf League, and it helped his team, the Four Aces, to a third consecutive team win.
Johnson shot 65 on Sunday to get into the playoff with Anirban Lahiri and Joaquin Niemann, both of whom were making their LIV Golf debuts. However, a slow finish on the second nine kept the two-time major champion from winning his first LIV event in regulation. He made par at his last five holes — including the relatively easy par-5 18th — when birdie at any of them would have won the tournament after 54 holes.
The par at the 54th hole was actually a bit of a revelation. Nearly stymied by a tree on the closing hole, Johnson was able to punch one out and get up and down to finish at 15 under, which got him into the playoff. Lee Westwood, who finished on the par-4 3rd hole, made bogey to miss the playoff by one. Cam Smith, making his much-anticipated LIV debut, also missed the playoff by a single stroke after firing 63 on Sunday.
D.J. made the most of a coast into the playoff, though, to claim the $4 million first prize. After reaching that same par-5 18th hole in two strokes, he poured in what can safely be called the best putt in LIV Golf history for an eagle three and the win over Lahiri (who was already in tight for birdie) and Niemann.
DJ EAGLE FOR THE WIN!!! #LIVGolf #LIVGolfBoston @DJohnsonPGA pic.twitter.com/O5CffhnVQ7
“Yeah it was going a little fast, but it was a good line,” Johnson said after nearly breaking the cup. “I felt like I played really well all week, I felt like I got some unlucky breaks here the first time around. It owed me one, and I got it.”
Johnson’s 65 was part of a nice Sunday comeback for the Four Aces, who ran down the Iron Heads and held off both the Crushers and Majesticks en route to their third win in four tournaments. The foursome of Johnson, Talor Gooch, Pat Perez and Patrick Reed will split the $3 million first-place winnings, just as they did at both LIV Bedminister and LIV Portland.
Here’s a look at the full team results on Sunday.
Talor Gooch, Dustin Johnson, Pat Perez, Patrick Reed
Anirban Lahiri, Bryson DeChambeau, Paul Casey, Charles Howell III
Sam Horsfield, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Shergo Al Kurdi
Sihwan Kim, Phachara Khongwatmai, Kevin Na, Sadom Kaewkanjana
Joaquin Niemann, Scott Vincenc, Adrian Otaegui, Jediah Morgan
Sergio Garcia, Abraham Ancer, Carlos Ortiz, Eugenio Lopez-Chacarra
Matt Jones, Marc Leishman, Wade Ormsby, Cam Smith
Cameron Tringale, Bernd Wiesberger, Phil Mickelson, Matthew Wolff
Peter Uihlein, Chase Koepka, Brooks Koepka, Jason Kokrak
Shaun Norris, Branden Grace, Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel
Laurie Canter, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, Richard Bland
Turk Petit, James Piot, Hudson Swafford, Harold Varner III
The inaugural LIV Golf season is now officially halfway over as the new tour starts to look toward its season-ending championship in Miami at the end of October. Between now and the $50 million team finale in Miami, LIV will travel to Chicago (Sept. 16-18), Bangkok (Oct. 7-9) and Jeddah (Oct. 14-16).
The season-long race to crown an individual champion is starting to heat up as well. With $18 million to be distributed to the winner, $8 million to the runner up and $4 million to whomever finishes third, this will be something to keep an eye on in the weeks leading up to LIV Jeddah, which is where the individual competition will end (Miami is strictly a team competition).
Johnson now leads that individual season-long race — he was second coming into this week — and is the easy favorite to collect the $18 million at the end of another three events. He should have some competition between players like Branden Grace, Carlos Ortiz and his teammate Reed, but D.J. has improved his position in every LIV event and seems to be getting stronger as this inaugural season wears on.
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