Tournament of Champions: Jon Rahm returns to win the tournament in Hawaii

Jon Rahm celebrates
The win was Jon Rahm’s 17th worldwide
-27 J Rahm (Spa); -25 C Morikawa (USA); -23 M Homa (USA), T Hoge (USA); – 22 JJ Spaun (USA), JH Kim (Chorus); – 21 KH Lee (Chorus), T Finau (USA), S Scheffler (USA), M Fitzpatrick (eng)
Selected others: -19 J Spieth (USA), C Young (USA); -15 J Thomas (USA); -1. 3 A Scott (Aus)
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Jon Rahm produced an impressive 10-under-par 63 to overturn a seven-shot deficit and win the PGA Tour’s Tournament of Champions in Hawaii by two shots.

The Spaniard, who bogeyed the first, took five shots in four holes to overtake Collin Morikawa, who stumbled with three bogeys on the back nine.

Morikawa, who led the field by six heading into the final round, finished with a one-under 72 to finish at 25 under.

“I needed to play well and he needed to make a couple of mistakes,” Rahm said.

“If you told me at the beginning of the round, after that bogey, I was going to do what I did, I don’t know if I would have believed you.”

It was a third win in six starts for Rahm – having won in Spain and Dubai late in 2022 – and an eighth PGA Tour title. He also collected $2.7m from the $15m (£11.8m) purse at Kapalua.

The Tournament of Champions, which had a limited field of 39 players, was the first of 13 events to have an “elevated” status on this year’s PGA Tour schedule, giving them increased prize money and requirements for the top players to compete.

Rahm’s round started badly. The 28-year-old missed a seven-foot putt at the first to fall eight shots behind Morikawa, but had five birdies in his next eight holes to improve to 21-under par after nine.

However, Morikawa also had a solid front nine, with three birdies taking his score to 27 under at the turn.

Rahm, the 2021 US Open winner, then had three consecutive birdies from the 12th before carding an eagle-three on the par-five 15th to move within one of the lead.

Moments later, he was joint leader, capitalizing on Morikawa chipping a bunker shot over the 14th green to drop his first shot of the tournament.

“At that point, I was coming into things and never thought I’d have a one-shot lead going into my third shot on 17,” said Rahm, who missed the green with his second shot on his second-to-last shot. hole.

“That’s when I had to change my mindset a little bit about chasing and needing birdies to, ‘let’s get this up-and-down, hopefully birdie 18 and give ourselves the best chance’.”

Rahm led because Morikawa missed another shot on the 15th. He duffed an easy chip and then missed a seven-foot putt for par.

And his short game let him down again on the par-four 16th after a superb drive left him with a 55-yard pitch for his second. He misjudged the spin on his ball and it ended up 70 feet from the hole and he could only three-putt from there.

Rahm suddenly led by two and picked up another birdie on the 648-yard par-five final hole after finding the green in two strokes and two-putting from 65 feet.

Morikawa also finished the final hole in four shots, but his birdie proved little consolation with Rahm completing the biggest comeback win in tournament history.

“You work so hard and you give yourself these opportunities,” said the 2021 Open Championship winner, who matched the PGA Tour record held by seven other players to squander a six-shot lead in the final round.

“I just made three bad turns, really, at the wrong time. It’s never a good time to put a bad turn on it, but sometimes it happens and these never worked out.

“I don’t know what I’m going to learn from this week, but it just didn’t seem like it was that far off. It really wasn’t. Yeah, it sucks.”

Americans Tom Hoge (64) and Max Homa (66) finished third at 23 under.

England’s US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick finished alongside Masters winner Scottie Scheffler – who could have returned to world number one with a higher finish this week – on 21 under after both carding three-under par 70s.

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