Dustin Johnson wins the first LIV Golf Championship and an $18 million prize



CNN

Dustin Johnson have enough points to secure the first season LIFE Golf individual championship and the series’ $18 million prize, LIV officials announced Monday.

The two-time major winner secured five top-10 finishes in the first six events and was the winner last month of the LIV Golf Invitational Boston. For that win, he earned $4 million.

On Sunday, Johnson, 38, finished tied for 16th at the LIV Golf Invitational Bangkok.

Johnson’s consistency gives him a 42-point lead over the next closest player, Branden Grace, with just 40 points available for the winner of the final individual contest this season.

“Locking the individual competition is big. It is an honor to be LIV’s first individual season champion,” Johnson said in the statement.

The 38-year-old expressed his thanks to “LIV’s growing legion of fans around the world” and said he “looks forward to further contributing to LIV Golf’s exciting history and continued growth.”

Johnson switched from the PGA Tour to the Saudi-backed rebel series in June. The controversial LIV Golf Series has caused a rift in professional golf, as LIV golfers have been banned from the PGA Tour and no world ranking points are currently offered for LIV events.

The PGA Tour and LIV Golf are embroiled in a legal battle with dueling lawsuits.

In August comes the LIV series joined an antitrust suit from some of its players claiming that the PGA Tour threatened to place lifetime bans on players participating in the LIV Golf Series, adding that “unprecedented suspensions” were imposed on them. The suit also alleges that the PGA Tour has threatened sponsors, suppliers and agents to force players to give up opportunities to play in LIV Golf events and access to their members.

The PGA Tour countersued in late September, alleging “harmful interference with the Tour’s contracts with its members.”

The LIV Golf Series is backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) – a sovereign wealth fund headed by Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince and the man a US intelligence report named responsible for authorizing the operation that led to the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. Bin Salman has denied involvement in Khashoggi’s murder.

Series organizers have spent eye-popping sums to find the best PGA Tour players, reportedly offering nine figures to individuals just to sign with the new league and huge purses to the winners of its tournaments. In early August, LIV CEO Greg Norman, a World Golf Hall of Fame member, confirmed on Fox News that golf legend Tiger Woods turned down an offer of around $700-$800 million to join LIV Golf.

The tour consists of eight events around the world. The last individual competition takes place from the 14th-16th. October in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, while the season-ending team championship event will be held in Miami between the 28th-30th. October.

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