Cameron Smith was the only person to finish a PGA Tour with more than six shots under par. He needed every shot to beat Jon Rahm to win The Sentry Tournament of Champions.
Cameron Smith played in the best scoring conditions Kapalua had seen during the 24 times it hosted the winners-only tournament to begin the new year.
He was relentless throughout the day, right down to his 3-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole. This gave him an 8-under 65 score and a one shot victory Sunday.
Smith was 34-under 258, which is a tournament record best of three shots. Ernie Els won at 31 under par in 2003. This was the PGA Tour’s record for shots below par.
In this week-long surreal event at Maui’s western edge, three players beat it.
The record was broken by the Australian, who also went toe-to–toe with Rahm the No. 1 player in the world this weekend, and beat him by one shot.
Rahm, who was playing for the first-time since Oct. 15, did everything he could and Smith never gave him a chance. T
hey teed off after being tied at the beginning of the final round. Smith took the lead with a 4-foot birdie par putt on hole 4. He then sunk a 20 foot birdie putt on hole 8.
Rahm was able to close the gap to one shot, with a birdie of 15 feet on the 11th hole.
The rest of the round, they matched pars and birdies on the same holes. Rahm finished at 33-under 259 with a 66.
Matt Jones from Australia attempted to join the race. He holded out for an eagle on 13th, made a 4-foot putt on 15th, and then hitting a 50 foot birdie putt 17th. Jones tied the Plantation course record at 61.
Only three players had ever won a 72-hole tournament at 30 or less before this week, Jordan Spieth at Kapalua 2016; Els 2003; Dustin Johnson at the rain-soaked Liberty National 2020.
The week ended with three players topping that, thanks to the warm weather and no wind. The greens were soft, and smooth. They could not be stopped.
Smith racked up his fourth PGA Tour win. Two of which were team titles in New Orleans.
This win making him the sixth player to win at both Hawaii stops. In a playoff, he won the Sony Open, in a playoff 2 years ago.