Written by MIKE MCALLISTER

This 2022 review of 4 Aces GC is the final part of a series of stories looking back at each of the 12 teams during the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational season. 
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Overview

The defining image of LIV Golf Invitational's inaugural season will be captain Dustin Johnson and his 4 Aces GC popping champagne bottles and spraying each other while celebrating on the podium after the final round. It didn't happen just once, or even twice. Of the eight events in 2022, the 4 Aces won five times, leading to discussions about what constituted a dynasty in golf's new team competition.

Dynasty or simply juggernaut, the foursome of Johnson, Patrick Reed, Talor Gooch and Pat Perez were perfect on U.S. soil. Frustrated by a fifth-place finish in London with his original drafted lineup, Johnson overhauled his roster. The result? Four straight regular-season victories in Portland, Bedminster, Boston and Chicago.

The winning streak ended after the Aces boarded international flights, but upon returning home, the all-American lineup resumed its winning ways. It was a total team effort in claiming the $16 million top prize at the Miami Team Championship, as all four players finished under par on the final day at Trump National Doral; no other team had more than two.

In winning the Individual Champion title, Johnson proved he was the biggest singular star of the inaugural season. But the final champagne spray in Miami showed it takes a village to win LIV Golf's biggest prize.

Roster movement

Captain Dustin Johnson drafted Shaun Norris, Oliver Bekker and Kevin Yuan prior to the inaugural tournament in London. He then overhauled his roster, adding new LIV Golf members Patrick Reed and Pat Perez, along with Talor Gooch, who had been the Torque GC captain. From there, the all-American lineup remained intact for the remainder of the season.

Player

4 Aces starts

Dustin Johnson

8

Patrick Reed

7

Pat Perez

7

Talor Gooch

7

Shaun Norris

1

Oliver Bekker

1

Kevin Yuan

1

Top Moments

TEAM: After some nervy moments in the match play semifinals at the Miami Team Championship, the 4 Aces produced their biggest show of depth in the most important day of the season. With all scores counting for the first and only time of the season, Johnson, Reed and Perez each shot 2 under while Gooch shot 1 under. The cumulative 7 under total was just enough to get past Punch GC and Cameron Smith, who by himself shot 7 under.

INDIVIDUAL: The biggest individual stroke of the season came on the first playoff hole in Boston. Dustin Johnson, in a three-man duel with Anirban Lahiri and Joaquin Niemann, sank a high-speed eagle putt that hit the back of the cup and dropped in to win the 4 Aces' lone individual trophy. It prompted huge celebrations as you might imagine, but for Johnson, it was also relief. Having knocked on the door in his previous LIV starts, Johnson was determined to add an individual trophy to go with his team titles.

MVP

DUSTIN JOHNSON. It was a magical season for DJ. The team success, the individual title, the Individual Champion, and $35.6 million in prize earnings – no wonder he was in such a good mood after his roster remake produced immediate dividends. His analysis of 2022? "Personally, my season, yeah, you add up the numbers and it was great," Johnson said. "but ... I didn't play my best, so it always could be better." Consider that a warning sign for the competition in 2023.

Others considered: Patrick Reed constantly delivered on the final day (67.7 scoring average) to help his team win title after title. He also finished fourth in the Individual Champion standings, only missing a money finish due to tiebreakers.

Regular Season Counting Scores

LONDON (-2), 5th place
Rd. 1: Johnson 69, Bekker 70
Rd. 2: Bekker 67, Johnson 70
Rd. 3: Johnson 70, Bekker 71, Norris 71

PORTLAND (-23), 1st place
Rd. 1: Johnson 68, Perez 69
Rd. 2: Johnson 68, Reed 68
Rd. 3: Reed 67, Gooch 70, Johnson 71
Prize earnings: $3,000,000

BEDMINSTER (-25), 1st place
Rd. 1: Reed 64, Johnson 67
Rd. 2: Gooch 64, Johnson 69
Rd. 3: Johnson 68, Reed 69, Perez 71
Prize earnings: $3,000,000

BOSTON (-32), 1st place
Rd. 1: Gooch 63, Johnson 67
Rd. 2: Johnson 63, Gooch 65
Rd. 3: Johnson 65, Reed 66, Gooch 69
Prize earnings: $3,000,000

CHICAGO (-24), 1st place
Rd. 1: Johnson 63, Gooch 70
Rd. 2: Reed 69, Perez 71
Rd. 3: Reed 68, Perez 69, Johnson 70
Prize earnings: $3,000,000

BANGKOK (-35), 6th place
Rd. 1: Reed 68, Johnson 70, Gooch 70
Rd. 2: Reed 65, Gooch 67, Johnson 70
Rd. 3: Johnson 67, Reed, 67, Perez 69

JEDDAH (-26), 4th place (T3 in money)
Rd. 1: Reed 65, Johnson 68, Gooch 69
Rd. 2: Johnson 65, Perez 67, Gooch 67
Rd. 3: Johnson 67, Gooch 67, Reed 69
Prize earnings: $250,000

Team Championship

SEMIFINALS: Beat Cleeks GC, 2-1

  • Johnson def. Al Kurdi, 5 and 3

  • Reed lost to Canter, 2 and 1

  • Perez/Gooch def. McDowell/Bland, 1 up

FINALS: 1st place (-7)

  • Johnson -2

  • Reed -2

  • Perez -2

  • Gooch -1

Prize earnings: $16,000,000

By The Numbers

0 – Number of counting scores over par by the 4 Aces in the last six regular season events and the final day of the Team Championship. Of their 50 counting rounds, 49 were under par, 1 at even par.

7 – Number of times 4 Aces recorded the lowest team score in a round (out of 18 rounds with Johnson, Reed, Gooch, Perez)

12 – Top 10 individual point finishes by 4 Aces players (Johnson 8th in London; Reed 3rd, Johnson 4th, Gooch 7th in Portland; Johnson 3rd, Reed 5th, Gooch 10th in Bedminster; Johnson 1st, Gooch 6th in Boston; Johnson 3rd in Chicago; Reed 2nd in Bangkok; Johnson 6th in Jeddah)

24 – Percentage of holes played under par by 4 Aces during the regular season (366 of 1,512 holes played), best among all teams

68.0 – Johnson's scoring average for his 21 regular season rounds

68.6 – Reed's scoring average for his 18 regular season rounds

69.3 – Gooch's scoring average for his 18 regular season rounds with 4 Aces

69.5 – Scoring average for all 4 Aces GC players during the seven regular season events (course average was 71.0). 4 Aces were the only team with a sub-70 average

71.4 – Perez's scoring average for his 18 regular season rounds

73 - The second-round score shot by Johnson at the par-72 Rich Harvest Farms in Chicago, the only round of the season in which he shot over par and the only time his score did not count for 4 Aces

104 – Strokes under par for 4 Aces counting rounds during their four-tournament win streak

131 – Strokes under par on par 5 holes by 4 Aces, best among all teams

28,250,00 – Cumulative team prize earnings (US$)

66,246,481 – Cumulative individual and team prize earnings (US$) for the foursome of Johnson, Reed, Gooch and Perez

The Final Words

DUSTIN JOHNSON ON BEING CAPTAIN

I've got three good players so I don't have to do anything. They just call me 'captain.' That's about it. That's obviously a good thing. We don't have team meetings or anything, but these guys, they're great players, they know what to do, and if I can help, I'm happy to, but I don't need to help these guys any.

PATRICK REED ON THE TEAM COMPETITION

Let's be honest, to me team golf is always amazing, always fun. To be a part of a team that we have four Americans on our team, it's one of those things that it's kind of like one of those mini-team events. I can go out there and play for something other than just myself; I'm playing for my teammates.

PAT PEREZ ON THE SEASON

My team played unbelievable this year. I feel like I'm really part of something that I've never been part of, other than me and my caddie, we've just been just us our whole life. To have these guys and their caddies and families and coaches and everybody, it's just one big family now. I just couldn't be any happier. It's unbelievable.

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