Rahm wins Tournament of Champions as Morikawa loses large lead

KAPALUA, Hawaii — Jon Rahm left Maui with a trophy he wasn’t anticipating, all due to a collapse from Collin Morikawa nobody noticed coming.

Rahm began the ultimate spherical of the Sentry Tournament of Champions seven photographs behind. He bogeyed his first gap. He was six photographs again on the flip to Morikawa, who had but to make a bogey the complete week at Kapalua.

“Bit of a crazy day, I’m not going to lie,” Rahm stated.

A wild hour featured a seven-shot swing in 4 holes when Rahm ran off three straight birdies and an eagle, and Morikawa, taking part in two teams behind him, made three straight bogeys on holes the remainder of the sector collectively performed in 44-under par.

It ended with Rahm making one final birdie for a 10-under 63 and a two-shot win over Morikawa (72), who went from a positive victory to a footnote in PGA Tour historical past because the ninth participant to lose a six-shot lead going into the ultimate spherical.

“It’s going to hurt, but I’ve got to get over it because we’re still in the very early parts of the season,” Morikawa stated.

So started the daring new 12 months on the PGA Tour of elevated tournaments that common $20 million in prize cash in a bid to convey one of the best collectively extra usually and reward them amid the problem of Saudi-funded LIV Golf.

Rahm is using an enormous wave, profitable for the third time in his final 5 begins worldwide.

“In my mind, I feel like since August I’ve been the best player in the world,” he stated.

For Morikawa, it was an epic wipeout even by Maui’s requirements.

He nonetheless was three photographs forward when he bladed a 25-yard bunker shot over the 14th inexperienced and made bogey. On the par-5 fifteenth, his 5-wood leaked simply sufficient proper to go down the slope and go away his a frightening chip, up the hill with the sturdy grain of grass into him. He muffed the chip and took bogey. After which on the sixteenth, his wedge wasn’t lengthy sufficient and rolled off the false entrance of the inexperienced some 70 ft from the pin for a 3rd straight bogey.

“He still shot 63,” Morikawa stated. “He definitely made the birdies when he needed to. But I also made bogeys. When you’re getting bogeys at that time of the tournament they’re costly. I definitely felt the weight of that.”

He wound up tying a PGA Tour file for shedding the most important 54-hole lead at six photographs. Eight different gamers have completed that, most lately Scottie Scheffler on the Tour Championship final 12 months. That occasion has a staggered begin to par based mostly on FedEx Cup standings. For normal stroke play, the final event was Dustin Johnson in 2017 on the HSBC Champions in Shanghai.

He additionally turned the primary participant in tour historical past to enter the ultimate spherical with a lead of 6 or extra strokes, shoot beneath par within the last spherical, and fail to win the occasion, per ESPN Stats & Data analysis.

Morikawa in a state of shock as he walked down the seventeenth fairway, main by as many as seven photographs through the last spherical and all of the sudden discovering himself two photographs behind and operating out of hope.

Rahm was shocked, too. He knew he was again within the sport, and as he walked down the seventeenth fairway and regarded on the video board, he noticed his image on the display with a “1” subsequent to his place — not even a “T1” to indicated a tie.

Rahm stated he regarded over at caddie Adam Hayes and stated, “What’s going on?”

It was the second such collapse by Morikawa in a bit greater than a 12 months. He closed out 2021 on the Hero World Problem and had a five-shot lead with an opportunity to succeed in No. 1 on this planet with a victory. He shot 76 and completed fifth.

Masters champion Scheffler had an opportunity to return to No. 1 this week if he completed in a two-way tie for third or higher. He needed to accept a 70 and tied for seventh.

Rahm completed at 27-under 265, and it was a small measure of redemption. Final 12 months he completed at 33-under par at Kapalua which was a PGA Tour file that lasted just a few seconds. Cameron Smith completed at 34 beneath to win by one.

Rahm now could be 60 beneath in his final two appearances at Kapalua. The victory was his ninth on the PGA Tour and seventeenth worldwide, and assures he might be again on Maui to begin 2024.

He gained $2.7 million from the $15 million purse at Kapalua, the primary of the “elevated” occasions on the PGA Tour schedule. He additionally will get 25% of his Participant Impression Program bonus cash – he completed No. 5 within the PIP for $6 million.

The Spaniard now has gained in every of his seven full years on the PGA.

Tom Hoge had a 64 and tied for third with Max Homa (66). Hoge headed for the airport to go to Los Angeles to observe his college, TCU, taking part in for the nationwide championship in opposition to Georgia. Hoge then will return to Hawaii for the Sony Open.

Data from The Related Press was used on this report.