Dustin Johnson earned just over $9.9 million – more than his best season ever on the PGA Tour – in just four starts in the controversial Saudi-backed LIV Golf series… and the American leads the way in the latest event in Chicago!
- American superstar Dustin Johnson nears $10 million from LIV Golf
- He has a three-shot lead after the first of three rounds in the tour’s most recent event
- His earnings in four starts in the controversial series are just over $9.9 million
- Johnson won the LIV Golf Championship in Boston and now leads the way in Chicago
- The new Saudi-funded separatist league described as ‘sports washing’
Dustin Johnson is already approaching $10 million in the Saudi-funded LIV Golf Series, and he’s playing with that number set to continue to rise.
Johnson ran nine birds Friday, no more than 12 feet tall, and scored a 9-under 63 at Rich Harvest Farms to take a three-shot lead after the first of three rounds at LIV Golf Invitational-Chicago.
Johnson is coming out of a playoff two weeks ago outside Boston, and with his team winning the last two events, his four-game winnings are already starting at just over $9.9 million. That’s more than his best season on the PGA Tour starting over 22 years ago.
Golf made headlines for months after the introduction of the controversial Saudi-backed separatist league, which rivals the traditional PGA Tour in the men’s game.
This event is supported by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia. This has led to players being criticized for taking part in it due to the kingdom’s poor human rights record, while critics have also called the competition a “washing sport”.
Dustin Johnson is already approaching $10 million in Saudi-funded LIV Golf Series
American Johnson exits LIV Tour playoff win two weeks ago outside Boston
British Open champion Cameron Smith, one of the newest recruits in a $100 million deal, rediscovered his form at the end of the round and finished by hitting a birdie in a 5-second hole for 66.
Matthew Wolff had 67, while the group at 66 includes Charles Howell III, who marred his run with a double bogey, and Henrik Stenson, who missed the Boston event while acclimating to vertigo.
Phil Mickelson had five birds and was probably a little closer to Johnson except for his one mistake, and it was a huge mistake. He took a triple bogey on the fifth hole of the Par-3, the sixth of the day at the start of the rifle. Shoot 70.
Johnson closed the front nine with four straight birds, three of which were 8 feet or closer. He placed in a clinic at Rich Harvest Farms, which was built in the southwestern suburbs and best known for hosting the Solheim Cup in 2009.
Even with a week off – and only playing for the sixth time in four months – Johnson has held up.
His only move was in the eighteenth rank of fifth rank and this only prevented him from reaching two divisions. He missed a 10-foot bird strike.
Cam Smith finished with a two-stroke in a 5-second hole for 66 in Chicago on Friday
I didn’t drill much mortar outside 10 feet. I didn’t have many long strokes,” Johnson said with a smile.
“I’ve got a hammock in a nice groove,” he said. ‘As long as I hit a few balls every day, I can keep them there. Fortunately, I will continue to work now.
Smith made only two birds in his nine open holes until he changed his approach and saw more birds entering.
I made an adjustment there in the last five or six holes. I wasn’t quite hitting them in the back of the hole. “A little bit of speed adjustment and a few are starting to get in.”
Phil Mickelson had five birds and was probably a little closer except for a costly mistake
Johnson and Taylor Gotsch, who circled his first three holes and were number one all the way for 70, are the only players to finish in the top ten in all four of the LIV Golf Invitational events.
Twenty-seven players from the 48-player field broke the tie on a fun day in the suburbs. David Puig, who gave up his final year in Arizona to become a pro this week, has a 73.
Patrick Reed also struggled, posting 74 despite making for three birds and an eagle.