BOLTON, Mass. — Dustin Johnson gave LIV Golf his first big moment on Sunday when he made a 35-foot eagle putt on the first hole of a sudden death playoff to win the LIV Golf Invitational-Boston for his first win in 19 years Months.
Johnson’s putt on the par-5 18 went so fast it might have rolled 6 feet off the hole. But it hit the back of the cup and fell near the front of the cup to hit Joaquin Niemann and Anirban Lahiri.
Johnson raised his arm and dropped it for a slow-mo uppercut, instead clapping hands with Austin Johnson, his brother and his caddy. The win was worth $4 million to Dustin Johnson. After his team won again, he has now won $9,962,500 over four events.
“It was a bit quick, but it was a good line,” Johnson said with a big smile. “I got some unfortunate breaks [on No. 18] the first time around. It owed me something and I got it.”
The first playoff in four LIV golf events capped an otherwise sloppy finish from so many others who had a chance.
Johnson, who closed on a 5-under-65, needed a birdie on the par-5 18th. His drive bounced into the right rough, his iron layup went wide left in the trees, and he had to crawl for par to join Lahiri (64) and Niemann (66) at 15-under 265.
Lahiri hit fairway metal at 5 feet in regulation on the 18th, and his eagle putt, which would have won it, rolled around the right rim of the cup.
Lee Westwood completed a shot from a playoff after a 62 that included bogeys on two of his last three holes. He was poised to win when he rebounded from a bogey in 1st place on the shotgun start with a short birdie on the second par-3.
He finished 3rd – a 352 yard hole and a great birdie opportunity. Westwood hit a lob wedge so fat it went into a bunker about 40 feet short of the pin. He exploded weakly and missed the 18-foot par putt.
“The Lob Wedge was a little fat,” Westwood said. “Do 3 and I win the tournament, and I do 5. It’s a disgusting way to end.”
British Open champion Cameron Smith had a 63rd out of six players recently signed with the Saudi Arabia-funded league. He was also tied on points before hitting his tee shot in the trees on No. 1, his 17th hole. hit and had to kick out to the side. He bogeyed.
Smith finished fourth with Westwood. Each made just over $1 million.
Johnson had not won since the Saudi International on February 7, 2021 when it was part of the European tour schedule. The player who has been No. 1 for longer than anyone since Tiger Woods slipped out of the world top 15 when he signed with LIV Golf.
Johnson has been part of the opposing league from the start outside of London in early June and has made the top 10 in all of them.
“I had a chance to win everyone,” he said. “It’s three in a row for the team and if I get my first I’ll feel good.”
He left the 18th green, holding a phone to make a video call with his two sons.
Lahiri and Niemann each earned just over $1.8 million for losing in the playoffs. They were among six players to sign with LIV Golf after the PGA Tour season ended.
The next LIV Golf Invitational series is in two weeks time in the Chicago suburbs at Rich Harvest Farms, best known for hosting the 2009 Solheim Cup.
https://www.espn.com/golf/story/_/id/34525825/dustin-johnson-makes-eagle-putt-playoff-win-liv-boston-event-first-victory-19-months Dustin Johnson makes eagle putt in playoff to win LIV Boston event, his first victory in 19 months