Australian Cameron Smith held off World No.1 Jon Rahm of Spain to win the Sentry Tournament of Champions with a record breaking 34-under par total at the par-73 Plantation Course at Kapalua in Hawaii.
Smith didn’t just break the record for low score at Kapalua, he broke the PGA Tour record for the lowest 72-hole score in relation to par. And he still only managed to win by a single shot as Rahm pushed him all the way.
The pair began the day tied for the lead at -26 under. Smith took a shot-shot lead into the back nine, but Rahm closed the gap to one with a birdie on the 11th. From there the players matched each other shot for shot, making pars and birdies on the same holes. Smith made a 3-footer for birdie on the 18th to seal his victory. Matt Jones finished third at -32 under after tying the course record with a 12-under 61.
Jones was the third player to shoot 61 this week. Rahm shot 61 in the third round, as did Justin Thomas.
To put the scores in perspective, before this tournament only three players in tour history had finished at 30 under or lower. Each of them also won those events by big margins: Ernie Els set the previous record on the PGA Tour with a 31-under total at Kapalua to win by eight shots; Jordan Spieth shot 30-under at Kapalua to also win by eight in 2016 and Dustin Johnson shot 30-under at Liberty National in 2020 to win by 11.
This was Smith’s fourth victory on tour, but only his second individual win. He has two wins at the Zurich Classic team event. The 28-year-old Smith is also projected to climb to 10th in the Official World Golf Ranking, a career-high.
Leading scores from the Tournament of Champions at Kapalua, Hawaii (USA unless noted, par-73):
258 – Cameron Smith (AUS) 65-64-64-65
259 – Jon Rahm (ESP) 66-66-61-66
260 Matt Jones (AUS) 70-67-62-61
266 – Patrick Cantlay 66-67-66-67
267 – Collin Morikawa 68-70-67-62, Justin Thomas 74-67-61-65, Daniel Berger 66-66-66-69
268 – Kevin Kisner 69-68-66-65, Im Sung-jae (KOR) 67-67-65-69
Photo – Golf Channel