Bryson DeChambeau believes his Crushers can become the team to beat in the inaugural LIV Golf League season after Charles Howell helped them to win the first event.
Howell topped the individual leaderboard in Mayakoba, Mexico, on Sunday after his final round of 63 left him on 16 under par, four ahead of overnight co-leader Peter Uihlein.
His display did the heavy lifting in the Crushers’ combined score of 26 under par for the three days’ play, nine better than their closest challengers, Dustin Johnson’s 4Aces.
Johnson’s team dominated last year’s LIV Golf Invitational Series, the dry run for this year’s league, but DeChambeau believes this could be his side’s year.
“I knew it would happen, I just didn’t know when,” DeChambeau said of the win. “To start off the year with a crushing victory, how much more can you ask for a statement piece? The 4Aces, they won a lot last year – but it’s a different year.”
Howell’s first win since the 2018 RSM Classic on the PGA Tour earned him a total of $4.75m (£3.96m) – $4m for topping the individual standings and his share of the $3m Crushers shared for winning the team contest.
“I don’t think you ever see a win coming,” said the 43-year-old American. “I’ve played in a lot of golf tournaments in my life, and I haven’t won a lot of them, and you have the doubts and the feelings, will you ever win again? To do it against this competition with these guys standing up here is more than I could ever dream of.”
His team-mate, England’s Paul Casey, finished fourth on the individual leaderboard, meaning he pocketed $1.8m in all from LIV Golf Mayakoba. Crushers colleagues DeChambeau and Anirban Lahiri finished tied for 19th and 32nd respectively and both banked more than $900,000.
Joaquin Niemann’s Torque finished third in the team standings on 13 under, one better than the South African quartet of Stinger, among whom Branden Grace placed third in the individual competition.