4 Aces narrowly defeat Aussies in $50m LIV finale

The first LIV Golf season wrapped up on Sunday at Trump National Doral with the 4 Aces GC claiming the 2022 LIV Golf Team Championship crown. Led by captain Dustin Johnson, the all-American squad of Talor Gooch, Patrick Reed and Pat Perez narrowly fended off Cameron Smith’s Punch GC.

The result was certainly a money-maker with Dustin Johnson and his 4 Aces GC collecting all four LIV Golf Invitational events in the United States during the regular season. The 4 Aces won the Team Championship by one stroke over Punch on Sunday, claiming the US$16 million first prize of the historic US$50 million purse.

With their four previous wins and other team earnings during the regular season, the foursome of Johnson, Patrick Reed, Talor Gooch and Pat Perez will evenly split a total of US$28,250,000 for the season-long team earnings.

Johnson is reported to have claimed 14% of the US$255 million in purses and bonuses won by all players in LIV’s inaugural year, not including signing bonuses, which were massive and reported to be around US$200 million for Phil Mickelson, and at least US$100 million each for players like Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau.

“The The 4 Aces celebrate their LIV Golf Miami win (Credit: LIV Golf)

The all-Australian Punch GC had finished in the money just one time this season and came into the week as the 11th seed.

They posted matchplay wins over higher seeds Hy Flyers GC and Torque GC in the previous two days to reach the finals, and nearly pulled off another upset on Sunday. Along with Smith’s 65, Matt Jones added a 70, with Wade Ormsby contributing a 73 and Marc Leishman a 74 to leave Punch at 6-under and claim the second-place prize of US$8 million, to be split four ways.

“It was pretty solid. I think we got off to a bit of a rough start there,” said team captain and World No.3 Smith.

“Leish, I think, doubled his second hole. We were kind of clawing back the whole day. Yeah, we got close there in the end, and all the boys showed some pretty big you-know-what there at the end holing some putts. It was really cool to see, and what better way to finish out a season than that.”

“I’m really looking forward to getting home, playing the events down there. I haven’t won an Australian Open, so I’ll be trying to do that. The round out there today kind of gave me that momentum that I needed heading down there. I can’t wait for next year. I think it’s going to be really exciting.”

The payouts next year, when LIV grows from eight to 14 events, will reach US$405 million.

All 16 of the players who competed Sunday finished their LIV year with more than US$2 million in earnings, though most of them received much more.

American Peter Uihlein, who never won on the PGA Tour, finished his LIV season with just over US$12.5 million in seven events, doubling his career earnings in 10 years as a professional.