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Two-time major winner Dustin Johnson is quids in after being confirmed as the winner of the inaugural LIV Golf Championship following the latest rebel event.
'DJ', one of the first high profile defectors from the PGA Tour, finished 16th in the latest Saudi-backed tournament in Bangkok, which was won by Eugenio Lopez-Chacarra. That proved enough to give him an insurmountable 42-point lead in the standings ahead of the season finale in Jeddah from October 14-16.
Johnson, 38, claimed a dramatic win at the LIV Golf Invitational in Boston in September, notching an eagle on the first playoff hole in arguably the rebel venture's most dramatic moment yet. That proved one of five top-10 finishes in the six events of the series to date – with Open champion Cam Smith arriving too late in the season to seriously challenge the American.
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"Locking up the individual competition is big," Johnson told reporters afterwards. "It's an honour to be LIV's first individual season champion."
Small wonder he 's delighted mind, given he'll now bag the top individual prize of £16.2 million. For context, that's enough to fund the annual wages of around 520 nurses, given they average just over £30,000 in a calendar year.
Not that the consolation prizes are measly either. South Africa's Branden Grace sits in second behind the world No 1, and if he stays there after Jeddah he will bag a cool £7.2 million.
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Patrick Reed, the 2018 Masters winner, currently occupies third spot – which carries a prize fund of £3.6 million. And following Jeddah, a season-ending team championship held in Miami from October 28-30 will see the culmination of the LIV team event which carries a £45.2 million prize.
Unlike the majority of rebel players, who are battling to still play PGA Tour events despite signing for Greg Norman, Johnson resigned his card in June. And his new boss was full of praise for the man who won five points from five in Team USA's emphatic Ryder Cup win last year.
"The first chapter of LIV Golf's history could not be written without Dustin Johnson's name," said Norman. "By any measure, Dustin Johnson is among the elite players in the world. From the start, he's been a LIV Golf cornerstone. He has more than lived up to his billing and he deserves immense credit for clinching LIV's first individual season title."
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- LIV Golf
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