Bolton, Mass. — Dustin Johnson gave LIV Golf its first big moment Sunday when he hit a 35-foot eagle putt on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to give LIV Golf Invitational-Boston its first win in 19. months
Johnson’s putt on the par-5 18th was going so fast, it must have missed the hole by about 6 feet. But he hit the back of the cup and dropped to the front of the cup to beat Joaquin Niemann and Anirban Lahiri.
Instead of shaking hands with Austin Johnson, his brother and caddy, Johnson raised his arm and dropped it for a slow-motion uppercut. The win was worth $4 million for Dustin Johnson. With his team winning again, he has now earned $9,962,500 in four tournaments.
“They were going a little fast, but it was a fine line,” Johnson said with a big smile. “I got some unlucky breaks the first time [on No. 18]. They owed me one and I got it.”
An otherwise sloppy finish was capped by several other playoff contenders in the first of four LIV golf events.
Johnson, who closed with a 5-under 65, needed a birdie on the par-5 18th. His drive bounced into the right rough, his iron into the trees on the left and he had to par to join Lahiri (64) and Neiman (66) at 15-under 265.
Lahiri hit the fairway metal to 5 feet on the 18th in regulation and his eagle putt rolled over the right edge of the cup.
Lee Westwood finished one shot out of a playoff after a 62 that included bogeys on two of his final three holes. He was poised to win after coming back from a bogey on No. 1 with a short birdie on the par-3 second in a shotgun start.
He finished on No. 3 — a 352-yard hole and a great birdie opportunity. Westwood hit a lob wedge that was so fat, it landed about 40 feet short of the pin and into a bunker. He stepped out weakly and missed the 18-foot par putt.
“The lob wedge was a little fat,” Westwood said. “Make 3 and I win the tournament, and I make 5. It’s a painful way to finish.”
British Open champion Cameron Smith, among six players who recently signed with the Saudi-funded league, had 63. At No. 1, he was tied for the lead until hitting his tee shot into the trees on the 17th hole. Draw a pitch from the side. He made bogey.
Smith tied for fourth with Westwood. Each earned just over $1 million.
Johnson had not won since the Saudi International on 7 February 2021, when it was part of the European Tour schedule. No. 1 player since Tiger Woods dropped out of the world’s top 15 when he signed with LIV Golf.
Johnson has been part of rival leagues since early June outside London and has finished in the top 10 in all of them.
“I’ve had every opportunity to win,” he said. “It’s three in a row for the team, and for me to get the first one, I feel good.”
He walked off the 18th green holding the phone on a video call to his two sons.
Lahiri and Nieman each earned $1.8 million for losing in the playoffs. He was one of six players signed with LIV Golf after the PGA Tour season ended.
The next LIV Golf Invitational Series will take place in two weeks at Rich Harvest Farms in suburban Chicago, famous for hosting the Solheim Cup in 2009.Topics #Dustin Johnson #LIV Boston tournament