Despite notching an incredible PGA record low 34 under on a 72-hole par, the Tournament of Champions wasn’t decided until Cameron Smith’s final hole on Sunday (Monday AEDT).
A birdie on the 18th wrapped up Smith’s one-stroke victory and a final round 65 (eight under) for the Australian in Kapalua, Hawaii.
“Unreal round,” Smith said. “Something I’ll never forget.”
Smith hit eight birdies on the day, including four over the final six holes, to keep his rivals at bay.
The win was Smith’s fourth on the tour. His most recent previous victory was at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans – coincidentally where he also earned his first championship – last April.
World No.1 Jon Rahm of Spain and Australia’s Matt Jones, who had to settle for second and third respectively, each bested Ernie Els’ previous high-water mark of 31 under, set at the 2003 tournament. Rahm finished 33 under, while Jones was 32 under.
Jon Rahm with Smith on the ninth hole in Hawaii.Credit:Getty
Rahm, who finished with a seven under 66, birdied his final hole to keep the pressure on Smith, before Smith matched his round.
Rahm scored 32 birdies over four rounds, tying another tour record. Mark Calcavecchia (2001 Phoenix Open) and Paul Gow (2001 BC Open) have also achieved the feat.
“I have every reason to be smiling,” Rahm said. “It’s a bittersweet moment.”
Jones added a third impressive performance, firing a scorching 12 under 61 on the final day, a round which featured two eagles and eight birdies. After scoring 62 on day three, it gave Jones a PGA record of his own, the lowest 36-hole score at 23 under.
Patrick Cantlay finished fourth at 26 under after his final-round six under 67.
Three golfers finished tied for fifth at 25 under. Collin Morikawa shot a 62, Justin Thomas recorded a 65 and Daniel Berger racked up 69 in the final round.
Kevin Kisner fired 65 for an eighth-place tie with South Korea’s Sungjae Im.
Australians Cam Davis (66) and Marc Leishman (68) rounded out the top 10, finishing 23 under for the tournament.
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