Dustin Johnson’s team reaches final of LIV team event

DORAL, Fla. (AP) — Dustin Johnson’s season of big LIV money will finish with another seven-figure check.

Johnson and his 4Aces GC team are one of four squads that will play in the finals of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf team championship Sunday, with $16 million — $4 million for each of the four players — awaiting the winning roster in the season-ending event at Trump National Doral.

Johnson’s team got there by beating Cleeks GC 2-1 on Saturday, with the winning point coming when Pat Perez and Talor Gooch held off Graeme McDowell and Richard Bland in extra holes.

“For us, it’s all about the competition,” Johnson said. “We want to win the first championship in LIV Golf. It’s anybody’s ballgame. Every team up here obviously is playing well. There’s no favorites in my eyes.”

Also headed to the final: Cameron Smith and Punch GC, which topped Sergio Garcia and Firebirds GC 2-1; the Louis Oosthuizen-captained Stinger GC, which won when Oosthuizen beat Bryson DeChambeau in 23 holes to seal a 2-1 win over Crusher GC; and the Brooks Koepka-captained Smash GC, which beat Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Majesticks GC 3-0.

“I’m just glad we made it to Sunday,” Oosthuizen said.

The first two rounds in Miami were match play; Sunday’s will be stroke play, with the scores of all 16 players — four players on each of the four teams — counting toward a total. The winning team will split $16 million, with the runner-up splitting $8 million, the third-place team splitting $6 million and the fourth-place team getting $4 million.

“I’m very pleased with how everyone’s playing,” Koepka said. “Anything can happen (Sunday). … It could make for a pretty exciting finish.”

That means all 16 players who tee off Sunday will show up already assured of pocketing at least $1 million in the season’s eighth and final LIV event.

“We’ve had a really good year,” Johnson said. “And whatever happens tomorrow, we’ve had a really good year.”

Johnson entered the week with $13,637,767 in earnings, plus $18 million more for being the season individual champion. That’s $31,637,767, and he’s now assured of winning at least another $1 million on Sunday.

Add in the $1.6 million that Johnson won between January and June on the PGA Tour, and he’s going to finish the 2022 calendar year with somewhere between $34.3 and $37.3 million. And that’s all on top of the reported $125 million he got for signing with LIV, though it’s unknown how much of that bonus he actually has received to this point.

The four teams eliminated on Saturday each received $3 million, or $750,000 per player.

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