BOSTON, Mass – BOSTON – There is one thing LIV Golf fans and anti-LIVer’s can agree on: the final round of the LIV Golf Invitational Boston at The International where Dustin Johnson drilled home a 35-foot eagle putt to win on the first hole of a three-way playoff was LIV Golf’s best day ever.
With its strongest field ever of 48 players, including 12 four-man teams, and a $5 million purse on the line, six players made their LIV Golf debuts, including world No. 2 and 2022 Open Champion Cameron Smith, world No. 19 and top Chilean golfer Joaquin Niemann, Harold Varner III (No. 46), Cameron Tringale (No. 55), Marc Leishman (No. 62) and India’s top-ranked pro Anirban Lahiri (No. 92).
The tournament could not have been scripted any better, exceeding expectations of fans, tournament officials, media and players.
Round 1 began with LIV Golf Commissioner and golf legend Greg Norman parachuting from 5,000 feet with a team of Frog-X Navy SEALS onto the first tee at The International. It was the ultimate “Top Gun” moment and players and fans loved it. The scoreboard showed Matthew Wolff and Taylor Gooch tied at 7-under, with Cam Smith and Joaquin Niemann at 6-under.
Round 2 showed Taylor Gooch (12-under) holding a one-shot lead over Joaquin Niemann (11-under) with Dustin Johnson sitting at 10-under and Anirban Lahiri (9-under), Jason Kokrak, Matt Wolff and Bernd Weisberger (8-under) and five players at 7-under including Cam Smith.
SCHEDULED 54 HOLES BUT THEY NEEDED 55
Sunday’s 1:15 p.m. shotgun start final round turned into a good ole-fashioned shootout with 31 players breaking even-par 70. Lee Westwood blistered the 7,000-yard Oaks Course with a record-setting 8-under par 62. He missed the playoff by one bogeying his 16th hole. Cam Smith bolted to the top of the leaderboard posting a 7-under par 63, also missing the playoff by one, when he bogeyed his 17th hole.
The Birdie Shack, located adjacent to No. 3 green, No. 4 tee and No. 16 tee was rocking all day with loud music and beverages flowing. Average age at the Birdie Shack was under 40. The drama and excitement produced a leaderboard with five players tied for the lead with two holes to play.
Dustin Johnson and LIV Golf newcomers Joaquin Niemann and Anirban Lahiri headed to a playoff hole following 54 holes, before Johnson notched his eagle putt on 18 electrifying the huge gallery. Johnson’s win marked the first win for an American on the LIV Golf series and the first LIV Golf playoff. He pocketed a check for $4 million for the win and his team split $3 million.
Following the playoff and exuberant trophy presentation Johnson celebrated wildly with his team called 4 Aces – Taylor Gooch, Pat Perez, Patrick Reed – as well as caddies. One media pundit said Johnson had more to say after his win than he has talked in several years of interviews.
The energetic post-tournament party continued for golf fans. Fans were treated to a high-intensity one hour concert by DIPLO, an 11-time Grammy nominee. The international chart-topping Disc Jockey made his place in the American music industry as one of the most dynamic and talented musical geniuses as record producer, rapper, musician, singer and songwriter.
So where does LIV Golf Invitational go from its ‘best day ever?’
Boston was the fourth of eight tournaments in 2022. Next up is Chicago Sept. 16-18, then Bangkok Oct. 7-9 and Saudi Arabia Oct. 14-16. The season-ending Team Championship will be hosted at the iconic Blue Monster at Trump Doral Miami Oct. 27-30 featuring a purse of $50 million.
GOOD NEWS BAD NEWS
According to LIV Golf player Peter Uihlein, a Massachusetts native, NewEngland.Golf has learned that the 2023 LIV Golf Schedule is a 14-event work-in-process. The tentative schedule for 2023 shows nine U.S. events and five international events.
The tentative 2023 schedule does not include a return tournament at The International or to another Boston area course or to anywhere in New England. That may change due to the overwhelming success over Labor Day weekend but LIV Golf is committed in its goal of bringing championship golf to the masses.
Tentative 2023 LIV Golf schedule:
• February: Florida (course TBD)
• February: California (course TBD)
• March: Tucson (Dove Mountain or the Gallery)
• April: Australia (Sydney or Queensland)
• April: Singapore (Sentosa)
• May: Washington (Week after PGA Championship, course TBD)
• June: Philadelphia (course TBD)
• July: London (Centurion)
• July: Spain (Valderrama, week before British Open)
• August: New Jersey (Bedminster)
• August: West Virginia (The Greenbrier)
• September: Chicago (course TBD)
• September: Toronto or Mexico (course TBD)
• September: Florida (Trump Doral)