Last year at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, Jon Rahm set the Plantation Course record and set what would have been the TOC’s 72-hole scoring record.
His 12-under 61 in round three broke the previous course record of 62. Justin Thomas also shot 61 that day, and Matt Jones matched it on Sunday.
Rahm carded 66-66-61-66 for the tournament to fire a blistering 33-under-par 259. That beat Ernie Els’ previous tournament record of 261.
Unfortunately for Rahm, Cam Smith gets to boast the new tournament record as he pipped Rahm by a shot.
Fortunately for Rahm, he won’t have to contend with Smith this year with Smith unable to defend his title after defecting to LIV.
Rahm finished a shot ahead of Jones in third place and was seven clear of the rest of the field.
He led the field in greens in regulation (90.28%), birdies (32), and was second in strokes gained tee to green (13.868).
Rahm talked about the adjustment of teeing it up at Kapalua compared to playing back at home in the continental U.S.
"“I think as you come from Arizona and we have greens are rolling 12, 13, there’s not that much wind,” Rahm was transcribed by ASAP Sports. “Then you get here, because of the wind these greens are to be slower, it’s a bit of an adjustment period, right? I’m not the only one who struggles, I would say most people who don’t have a good week I would probably think that the putting might be the No. 1 contributing factor to the difference between the winner to somebody who is in 15th place.”"
Granted, this is a limited field event, but the fact that Rahm has top-10s every year since 2018 is still impressive. Just making it into this tournament that many times in a row is not easy.
The Spaniard has yet to win in Hawaii, but he also has a runner-up finish in 2018 when he posted 71-70-66-69. He was a shot clear of third place but eight behind winner Dustin Johnson (another guy who he’ll never have to worry about on the PGA Tour).
Rahm finished T-8th (70-71-69-69) in 2019, T-9th (67-68-68-70) in 2020, and T-7th (70-66-69-67) in 2021.
The 28-year-old Arizona State alum last teed it up at the Hero World Challenge last month where he took T-8th. He was in good form this fall on the DP World Tour where he won the Acciona Open de Espana and the DP World Tour Championship.
While Rahm has admitted he can struggle at times on Kapalua’s greens, this is still a great venue for his game. He’s allowed to wail on the ball without much abandon without much rough and big greens to shoot for on approach.
Last season, he was first on the PGA Tour in SG off the tee per round (1.025). He was also 17th in par-5 scoring (4.54).