Sports | November 1, 2022 11:01 am

LIV Golf Champ Dustin Johnson Made 1,000% More Per Shot After Defection

Sports betting website Pickswise completed an analysis to determine LIV's top golfers' earnings per shot

Dustin Johnson celebrates after winning at the LIV Golf Invitational - Miami. The golfer is apparently making up to 1,000% more after his switch from the PGA.
Dustin Johnson's defection to LIV Golf has made him a rich, rich man.
Chris Trotman/LIV Golf via Getty

Dustin Johson’s defection from the PGA Tour to the Saudi-backed LIV Golf circuit may have hurt him in the karma department, but there’s no doubt it has boosted his bank account as the 2020 Masters winner earned $35.9 million from playing in only eight events during the upstart series’ first season. For the sake of comparison, PGA Tour champion Rory McIlroy made $28.5 million across 17 events this season.

Thirty-eight-year-old Johnson, who made $96.4 million in his entire 15-year PGA Tour career, played approximately 1,400 shots since joining LIV in June and made just about $7,000 ($6,833.75) per shot given his post-defection earnings. That’s a per-shot increase of approximately 1,000%, according to sports betting website Pickswise. Per the site, the former World Number 1 earned a total of $1,617,749 from playing 2,670 shots during his last year on the PGA tour, which equates to $605.90 per shot.

Johnson, who sarcastically said last month that he was “really regretting” switching tours, was also reportedly paid $125 million over four years in guaranteed money just for joining the offshoot tour. The rest of LIV’s top golfers are also likely happy they made the switch as it resulted in them banking thousands of dollars for one swing of the club. Following Johnson in earnings per shot are Cameron Smith ($6,302.62), Henrik Stenson ($5,134.84) Branden Grace ($4,776.76) and Patrick Reed ($3,938.01).

Although he was one of 21 players who teed it up for LIV that failed to break $1 million in individual earnings, Pat Perez ended up walking away with about $8 million total for the year as he plays on Johnson’s team the 4Aces and their four-person group won a quartet of regular-season events as well as the LIV team title. Speaking about his experience, the 46-year-old veteran said what many are likely thinking. “All the pushback, all the negative comments, everything we’ve gotten, at this point I really don’t care. I mean, I don’t care. I’m paid. I don’t give a damn,” Perez said after LIV’s season-ending event over the weekend.

LIV Golf is set to announce its 2023 event schedule in the coming days.

 “The outrageous fees in the breakaway LIV Golf tour have caused plenty of controversy over the last few months. Our study showing that Dustin Johnson earns over 1,000% more per shot for his exploits in the breakaway tour compared to the PGA will only increase tensions,” according to Pickswise representative Richard Wilson. “With little in the way of money coming in through sponsorships, another key question for next year will be pondering the long-term future of the series: without that exposure, how long will its owners want to carry on with this project? If the breakaway tour was to fail, it might also leave the PGA with an interesting decision to make. Will they easily allow names such as Johnson and Smith to rejoin without any repercussions?”

Maybe. Maybe not.