BOLTON, MA – Regardless what the (un)Official World Golf Rankings say, LIV Golf-Boston champion Dustin Johnson is still easily one of the top four or five best players in the world. His last five starts are: 8th (LIV-London), T3 (LIV-Portland), T6 (The Open), T2 (LIV-Bedminster), 1st (LIV-Boston).
Additionally, and maybe more importantly in a historical sense, he’s led the all-American team of 4 Aces GC to victory in three straight tournaments, all in the USA (Portland, Bedminster and Boston).
The team, captained by Johnson, includes Patrick Reed, Talor Gooch and Pat Perez.
The beauty of team golf was witnessed midway to late on Sunday – a day when the scores of three players count (as opposed to two scores in the opening rounds): With Gooch and DJ near the top of the leaderboard, and in the red for the day, the third score appeared like it was going to come from Perez, who’d gotten off to a terrific 4-under start at The International’s Oaks course. But the veteran blew a tire around the turn, and quickly spun out of control, losing all four strokes – and then some – in a six hole stretch (Nos. 9-14) of double bogey-bogey-par-par-bogey-bogey.
With about six holes to play, the 4 Aces GC had fallen behind the Iron Heads GC.
Reed, who’d struggled most of the week, and was level par through 10 holes, said he was told his score would probably count as Perez started to fade, “so try to do something.”
The former Masters champion did just that, and proceed to close 4-under par on his final six holes, effectively winning the team title for the 4 Aces, despite finishing T31 in the individual tournament.
“Well, the juices were definitely flowing,” said Reed, who entered Boston off two straight top-5 finishes. “I think I had five or six left, and they came up to me and said, hey, one, you’re counting, and we’re down two, so try to do something.
“I was able to rally off back-to-back birdies on 4 and 5, and then to go ahead and hit it to three or four feet on 8 to make eagle on the second to last hole is always something that just kind of gets you going.
“I think that’s what’s so impressive about our team is it seems like every week, we seem to close. It’s not just how we start. We get out of the gates fast.”
Perez, who seems happy to be along for the ride, was asked if it was a “dynasty.”
He said, “They are. I’m just holding on by a thread.”
Perez may be the highest paid hanger on: in three starts on the LIV Golf tour, Perez, who has finished T29, T31 and T15, has earned $2.795 million, most of that coming by the way of 4 Aces GC’s earnings – $750,000 per player, per win.
In fact, Perez says he’s earned twice as much money in three LIV Golf appearances than he made in 25 starts on the PGA Tour in 2022, officially listed at $1.071 million.
“Three for me,” said Perez, correcting the number of starts he’s made on LIV. “I’ve doubled my earnings on the TOUR in 25 events compared to these three (Portland, Bedminster, Boston).
“But when you got those three horses (Johnson, Gooch, Reed), it’s a lot easier.”
Captain Johnson added, “You’ve got to have the Fluffer.”