Johnson emerges from pack, wins LIV Las Vegas

Sports

LAS VEGAS — Dustin Johnson won LIV Golf Las Vegas on Saturday in windy and chilly conditions for his third victory on the Saudi-funded tour, pulling ahead with a birdie on No. 17 and closing with a par to edge Peter Uihlein and Talor Gooch by a stroke.

Johnson shot a 1-under 69 to finish at 12-under 198 at Las Vegas Country Club, breaking out of a late six-way tie on another day with the temperature barely climbing into the 50s in the shadow of the Super Bowl.

Johnson opened with a birdie on the par-5 first, then dropped back with bogeys on Nos. 6, 9 and 11.

“Tough day. Got off to a little bit of a rocky start,” Johnson said. “I was hitting really good shots, they were just ending up in poor spots. I was hitting the shots I wanted to, I just was not playing the wind right.”

The two-time major champion rallied with birdies on Nos. 13, 15 and 17 — holing a 12-footer on the par-4 17th — and made the par save on the par-4 18th for the victory, hitting to 12 feet from the rough and two-putting.

“I was struggling with the putter a lot and then this year the first two events I’ve putted quite nicely, just making all the putts I need to make,” Johnson said. “Like the one on 17, obviously, was a clutch putt that I needed to make there if I wanted to take a one-shot lead.”

Gooch shot a 67, and Uihlein finished with a 68.

Gooch lost three strokes in two holes with a bogey on No. 9 and a double bogey on No. 10, then birdied Nos. 14, 16 and 17 and 1.

“I actually didn’t hit it that great today, but I made a few putts out there, so the putter got hot at the right time,” Gooch said.

Uihlein bogeyed 16 and birdied 17.

“I hit it all over the shop,”Uihlein said. “It was hard. It was a grind. Putter bailed me out a lot. Short game bailed me out.’

Johnson, 39, has won in each of LIV’s first three seasons, taking playoffs in Boston in September 2022 and Tulsa, Oklahoma, last May. He won 24 times on the PGA Tour.

“The game is feeling in really good form for this early in the year, and so I’m excited for the rest of the year,” Johnson said. “Obviously, got a big stretch coming up with Saudi, Hong Kong, come back, Doral and then the Masters.”

Matthew Wolff was 10 under after a 69. Graeme McDowell (65), Paul Casey (68) and Jason Kokrak (69) were 9 under, and Jon Rahm (71) was eighth at 8 under in his second LIV start.

Bryson DeChambeau, tied for the second-round lead with Johnson after both shot 62 on Friday, had a 74 to drop into a tie for ninth at 7 under.

In the team competition. Gooch, Kokrak and McDowell led Brooks Koepka-captained Smash GC to a seven-stroke victory over Johnson’s 4Aces GC.

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