4Aces GC Captain Dustin Johnson won the LIV Golf Las Vegas individual title on Saturday. (Photo by Montana Pritchard/LIV Golf)
DJ holds all the aces in Vegas
Dustin Johnson captured his third individual title on the LIV Golf circuit after shooting 12 under par for three rounds at Las Vegas Country Club in Nevada.
At one point during Saturday’s final round, six players were tied for the lead, but Johnson battled back from three bogeys midway through his round to produce three birdies in his last six holes – including the decisive one at the 17th – to pull clear of a three-way tie with Talor Gooch and Peter Ulhein with a final round 69 on the par-70 course.
TOUGH SCORING CONDITIONS
Johnson was the only one of the three players in the final group to break par, as Jon Rahm shot level-par 71 and Bryson DeChambeau a three-over 74. Gooch (67) and Ulhein (69) shared second place on 11 under, with Matthew Wolff just missing out on a podium spot when finishing one stroke back in fourth.
“Today was tough, given the weather, but it’s a great win,” said Johnson, who leads the individual standings after just two events. “This year I’ve got a little more drive and determination following last season’s results, because I don’t enjoy not playing well.”
Gusty winds and chilly conditions made the final round challenging for all the players in the shotgun format, with just 17 of the 54 managing to breaking par, while the field stroke average more than three shots higher than the previous two rounds.
MCDOWELL HELPS SMASH WIN TEAM EVENT
In the team event, Smash GC’s dominant performance in Saturday’s final round – where all four players’ scores now count – allowed captain Brooks Koepka to celebrate his fifth trophy of any kind since joining LIV Golf, while teammate Talor Gooch became the first player to win trophies with three different teams.
With new signing Graeme McDowell shooting 65, Gooch 67 and Koepka and Jason Kokrak contributing 69s, Smash shot 10 under as a team for the final round, while the other 12 teams were a cumulative 66 over par.
McDowell, 44, who has a reputation for being a good wind player, thrived in the tough conditions, with his six-under-par final round score being two strokes better than any other player, as he fuelled Smash’s late surge on the final holes to break open a tight team leaderboard.
“I’ve been living in Florida for about 15 years, but thankfully I still remember how to play in the wind,” said McDowell, who was the only player to produce a bogey-free round on Saturday, missing just one fairway and three greens. “My game has really been trending up for the last six months and I’m delighted to help my team get over the line.”