Dustin Johnson sinks 35-foot playoff putt to earn his first LIV Golf win
Dustin Johnson gave LIV Golf its first big moment 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 victory in 19 months.
Johnson’s putt on the par-five 18th was going so fast that it might have rolled some six feet past the hole. But it hit the back of the cup and dropped in to beat Joaquin Niemann and Anirban Lahiri.
Johnson raised his arm and dropped it for a slow-motion uppercut, instead slapping hands with Austin Johnson, his brother and caddie. The win was worth $4 million for Johnson. With his team winning again, he has made $9,962,500 in four events.
The first playoff in four LIV Golf events capped an otherwise sloppy finish by so many others who had a chance.
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Johnson, who closed with a five-under-par 65, needed a birdie on the par-five 18th in regulation to win. His drive bounced into the right rough, his iron to lay up went into the trees well to the left, and he had to scramble for a par to join Lahiri (64) and Niemann (66) at 15-under 265.
Lahiri hit a fairway metal to five feet on the 18th in regulation, and his eagle putt that would have won it rolled around the right edge of the cup.
Lee Westwood finished one stroke out of a playoff after a 62 that included bogeys on two of his last three holes.
British Open champion Cameron Smith, among six players who recently signed with the Saudi-funded league, had a 63. He also was tied for the lead until hitting his tee shot into the trees on No. 1, his 17th hole, and having to pitch out sideways. He made bogey. Smith tied for fourth with Westwood. Each made just more than $1 million.
Johnson had not won since the Saudi International on Feb. 7, 2021, when it was part of the European Tour.
SYLVANIA, Ohio — Gaby Lopez rallied from four shots behind and closed with three consecutive birdies for an eight-under 63 and a one-shot victory in the Dana Open.
Lopez finished her big run with a 12-foot birdie putt on the par-five 18th at Highland Meadow, setting off a series of fist pumps, knowing it would keep her one shot ahead of Megan Khang.
The 28-year-old Mexican player picked up her third career LPGA Tour victory and her first since the Tournament of Champions to start the 2020 season.
Khang, who shot a 29 on the front on a rain-softened course, closed with a 64. Caroline Masson birdied her last two holes for a 68 and finished alone in third.
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Lucy Li, a 19-year-old Californian who started the final round with a one-shot lead, struggled to make birdies. Her hopes effectively ended when she hit into a fairway bunker on the 16th hole, played well short of the green and missed a five-foot par putt.
Li birdied the 18th hole for a 70 and tied for fourth. She already has her LPGA Tour card for next season through the Epson Tour. Li tied for ninth in Canada last week to get into the Dana Open, and now she is eligible to play the LPGA event in Cincinnati next week.
Lexi Thompson has gone more than three years without winning, and she didn’t make a birdie until the final hole. She closed with a 73 and tied for 16th, seven strokes behind.
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