The golfing world has been blown away by Dustin Johnson’s extraordinary financial windfall after just six events in the inaugural LIV Golf championship.
Johnson has clinched the first individual championship in the breakaway competition – and with it, a staggering $US18 million ($A29m) first prize, with one event still remaining.
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With the second-placed Branden Grace withdrawing from the LIV Golf Bangkok Invitational, it means Johnson cannot be caught.
The 38-year-old has earned 121 points through the upstart tour’s point system – 42 more than Grace – guaranteeing Johnson the biggest single payday in his golfing career.
Johnson had five top-10 finishes in the first six events, including a win at the LIV Golf Invitational Boston.
The American has so far racked up a total haul of $A49 million from the rebel tour, not to mention a reported $A200m signing-on fee.
Putting those astronomical figures into perspective is the fact that it took him 14 years to win $A120m on the PGA Tour.
Johnson’s staggering LIV Golf windfall has left fans in disbelief on social media.
“Locking up the individual competition is big. It’s an honor to be LIV’s first individual season champion,” Johnson said in a news release.
LIV Golf commissioner and CEO Greg Norman congratulated him.
“The first chapter of LIV Golf’s history could not be written without Dustin Johnson’s name. By any measure, DJ is among the elite players in the world,” Norman said.
“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.”
Cameron Smith in contention for top 3 finish
Australia’s Cameron Smith is one of several players in contention for the runner-up and third-place prizes of $A13m and $A6.5m, respectively.
The places will be determined after the LIV Golf Invitational Jeddah, set for this weekend at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club in Saudi Arabia.
Patrick Reed trails Grace (79 points) with 76, followed by Smith (56). More than a dozen players are still in contention should they win in Jeddah, which carries 40 points for first place and 30 for second.
LIV Golf will conclude its inaugural season on October 28-30 with a team event at Trump National Doral Golf Club in Miami. Twelve teams will compete for a $A80m purse.
Aussie legend Norman is the CEO of the controversial new golf league, which is reportedly funded by $3 billion from Saudi Arabia, and is looking to host an event in Australia.
LIV Golf is at the center of major controversy due to its links with Saudi Arabia, with the regime accused of trying to ‘sports-wash’ its image amid an appalling human rights record.
Australia’s British Open champion Cameron Smith became LIV’s highest-profile signing last month, a move that saw him banned from competing at PGA events in the future.
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