BEDMINSTER, NJ – Henrik Stenson’s decision cost him his European Ryder Cup captaincy as he won the LIV Golf Invitational in Bedminster on Sunday and took home more than $4 million over three days of action.
With a 3-shot lead entering the third and final round at Trump National, Stenson opened with a 20-foot birdie putt and didn’t allow anyone to get closer than 2 the rest of the way.
Matthew Wolfe (64) and Dustin Johnson closed the final hole with a 68 for a 2-shot victory with a 2-under 69.
Stenson spent five years beating 20-plus players to beat the field, winning $4 million and taking home $375,000 more when his team finished second.
The big payout — reported to be about $50 million, not including a signing bonus — comes less than two weeks after the 46-year-old Swede decided to join the Saudi-funded LIV golf series.
Stenson pledged his full support to the European Tour when he was Ryder Cup captain and marcher, and when the Tour changed his mind four months later, he was sacked.
“I think I’ll play as the captain and we can get along,” Stenson said on the LIV Golf telecast after finishing 11-under 202.
“It’s a good first week,” Stenson said, opting not to participate if the LIV-paid broadcaster felt assured of victory.
“It’s been a busy 10 days. I’m proud to have worked as hard as I did,” he said.
Stenson won the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas in December 2019, a holiday event hosted by Tiger Woods in a 20-man field. Before that, he won the Windham Championship in 2017. And even if he feels the pressure at the last minute, it doesn’t always seem like it.
Stenson holed an 8-foot birdie putt on the 14th for a 3-shot lead with four holes remaining, two with par 5s. But it took four to get left of the green on the par-5 15th. After two holes, Stenson made a 10-footer to take a 2-shot lead on the par-5 closing hole.
“The cushion on 17 was huge to make it to the end,” Stenson said.
Johnson has now finished eighth, fourth and second in all three LIV golf events. His team “4 Aces” won the last two times, paying $ 750,000 to each player. In the three events since Johnson’s reported $150 million signing fee, the two-time major champion has earned more than $5.2 million on the course.
Mexico’s Carlos Ortiz (68) finished fourth and Patrick Reed (69) fifth.
Phil Mickelson shot an even par 71, making it only the second time Mickelson has scored at or better in 9 rounds of LIV golf. He finished 35th.
The LIV Golf Series is off for a month during the FedEx Cup playoffs on the PGA Tour, returning an hour west of Boston on Labor Day weekend and playing two weeks later in suburban Chicago.