BOLTON, Mass. LIV Golf had its first major moment Sunday with Dustin Johnsons 35-foot eagle putt at the first hole of a sudden death playoff to win the LIV Golf Invitational Boston. It was his first victory in 19-months.
Johnsons putt at the par-5 18th was so fast it may have rolled 6ft beyond the hole. It hit the cup at the back and dropped to the front to beat Joaquin Niemann & Anirban lahiri.
He raised his arm and dropped his arm for a slow-motion uppercut. Instead, he slapped hands with Austin Johnson, his brother, and caddie. Johnson was awarded $4 million for the win. Johnson now has $9,962,500 after his team won again in four events.
Johnson smiled big. I had some unlucky breaks (on No. 18) the first time. It owed me one, and I got it.
The first playoff in four LIV Golf events was the highlight of an otherwise poor finish by many others who had a chance.
Johnson, who finished with a 5-under 65, needed to birdie the par-5 18th. His drive bounced into a right rough, and his iron to lay-up went into the trees to the left. Johnson had to scramble for par in order to join Niemann (66), at 15 under 265.
Lahiri hit a fairway-metal to 5 feet on the 18th, but his eagle shot that would have won it rolled around right edge of cup.
After a 62-hole round that featured bogeys on two holes and three of his last three, Lee Westwood was one shot away from a playoff. He was poised for victory when he rebounded from a bogey at No. He finished the shotgun start at 1 with a birdie on the par-3 2nd.
He finished on No. He finished on No. 3, a 352-yard hole that offered great birdie opportunities. Westwood hit an enormous lob wedge that was nearly 40 feet from the pin. It ended up in a bunker. He missed the 18-foot par hole because he was weak.
Westwood stated that the lob wedge was a little fat. Make three and I win the tournament. I make five. Its a horrible way to end.
Cameron Smith, the British Open champion, was one of six players who signed with the Saudi-funded league. His score was 63. He was also tied for the lead when he hit his tee shot in the trees on No. He was tied for the lead on the 17th hole. He made bogey.
Smith was fourth behind Westwood. Each earned just over $1million.
Johnson had not won since Feb. 7, 2021 when the Saudi International was included in the European tour schedule. The No. 1 player in the world is. 1 longer than anyone since Tiger Woods fell from the top 15 in the world after he signed with LIV Golf.
He was a member of the rival league since the beginning in June outside London and has finished in the top ten in all of them.
He said, Ive had the chance to win all of them. Its three in succession for the team, and I feel good to have my first.
He walked out of the 18th green with a phone in his hand, making a video call to his sons.
Niemann and Lahiri made just over $1.8m each for their loss in the playoff. They were among six players to sign with LIV Golf following the PGA Tour seasons end.
The next LIV Golf Invitational series takes place in Chicago suburbs at Rich Harvest Farms. Rich Harvest Farms was home to the Solheim Cup in 2009.