All the eyes of the golf world were on Boston this weekend. With the PGA wrapping up their regular season last Sunday, the LIV takes center stage, and it was the perfect tournament to be the main attraction as Dustin Johnson’s eagle putt in a playoff gave him the win.
Big Weekend for DJ
Johnson’s 35-foot eagle putt sealed the win over Joaquin Niemann (playing in his first LIV event) and Anirban Lahiri. The victory netted a $4 million prize, and since Johnson’s team, the Four Aces also was the leader on the weekend, which gave him another $750,000 in prize money.
The win was Johnson’s first in 19 months, although there have been some close calls such as a T2 at LIV Bedminster, a third place at LIV Portland, and finishing sixth at the U.S. Open. Johnson has now made $9.9 million in four LIV events, something his caddie (and brother) Austin Johnson can appreciate as well.
Many Firsts for the LIV this Weekend
Time will tell if the popularity carries over to LIV Chicago in a couple of weeks, but as stated, it was a great weekend for LIV to be the only golf show.
The weekend included a bunch of tour firsts, including Johnson winning in the first playoff, as well as Matthew Wolff, hitting the inaugural hole-in-one with an ace on the 178-yard second hole.
This was also the first LIV event for world #2 Cameron Smith, who finished one stroke off the pace at -14 to finish T4. Smith had a bogey on his second-to-last hole; otherwise, he would have been in the fight for the playoff. Smith still pocketed $1.5 million for the weekend, $1 million less than his Open Championship victory at St. Andrews.
Niemann did make the playoff in his first LIV event but couldn’t contend with Johnson’s long birdie putt. Other notables, such as Bryson DeChambeau (T17) and Brooks Koepka (T26), weren’t much of a factor.
Phil Mickelson (T40) also didn’t contend yet again, but he was part of another first wearing shorts – something CEO Greg Norman announced would be allowed now on the tour.
PGA vs. LIV Continues
The PGA Tour is coming off like a jilted lover, saying how much they don’t care about the LIV and then continuing to talk about them non-stop.
Granted, when reporters ask somebody like Gary Player about the LIV, he has to respond, but saying, “how can you be a champion playing a tour with 54 holes and no cut?” seems like a bit much. Player also added, “it’s a tour for people who have no confidence in their future” which was harsh coming from a Saudi golf ambassador.
Player, of course, wasn’t the only one to bash the LIV this weekend, with Mark Calcavecchia tweeting out, “Dang. I forgot Liv Golf was on today. Didn’t miss anything.”
Make no mistake, the LIV is a controversial startup, but people like Player and Calcavecchia are giving off strong “see how much I don’t care about this” while actually caring about it vibes. On to Chicago.