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Henrik Stensons' choice, which cost him the chance to lead Europe in the Ryder Cup, had immediate and significant benefits as he won the LIV Golf Invitational tournament at Bedminster on Sunday, earning more than $4 million for three days of labor.
Stenson put his 20-foot birdie putt to the third and final round of Trump National, allowing anyone to get closer than two shots the rest of the way, putting him in command by three shots.
As he finished with a 2-under 69, Matthew Wolf (64) and Dustin Johnson, who birdied the last hole for a 68-point score.
Stenson earned $4 million for his victory and an additional $375,000 for his teams' second-place finish five years after defeating a field of more than 20 competitors.
The substantial payment came less than two weeks after the 46-year-old Swedish player agreed to join the Saudi-funded LIV Golf series, excluding a signed bonus estimated at $50 million.
When Stenson was chosen Ryder Cup captain in March, he pledged his unwavering support for the European tour. However, four months later, when he changed his mind, the tour fired him.
After finishing at 11-under 202, Stenson commented on the LIV Golf show, I believe we can agree I played like a captain.
When asked if he felt validated by the victory, Stenson declined to comment and said, It's been a great first week.
Ten days have been a lot of work. Im quite proud of how effectively I was able to concentrate said he.
Stenson won the Hero World Challenge, a holiday tournament with a 20-man field that was hosted by Tiger Woods in the Bahamas in December 2019. He also won the Wyndham Championship the year before that.
Stenson sank an 8-foot birdie putt to take a 3-shot lead down the last par-5 hole, but he needed four shots to get down from left of the green.
Stenson commented, "The putt on 17 was huge to keep the cushion coming up the last."
Johnson has now contested three LIV Golf events and has placed ninth, fourth, and tied for second. The 4 Aces club has won the last two games, paying each player $750,000. Since Johnson was revealed to be receiving a $150 million signing bonus, he has earned more than $5.2 million on the course.
Patrick Reed (69) of Mexico ranked seventh, followed by Carlos Ortiz (68) of Mexico.
Phil Mickelsons nine LIV golf rounds have he shot par or better, with his even-par 71. He finished 35th.
The LIV Golf series takes a month off during the FedEx Cup playoffs on the PGA Tour. It returns on Labor Day weekend roughly an hour west of Boston, then plays in the Chicago suburbs two weeks later.