WiretoWire: Cameron Smith historically low week at Sentry TOC
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Written by Staff @PGATOUR
Cameron Smith’s Round 4 winning highlights from Sentry
If the PGA TOUR’s 2022-opening Sentry Tournament of Champions is any indication, the ‘offseason rust’ narrative might be a thing of the past. The ‘underdog’ narrative around champion Cameron Smith might not be for long, either. Smith began the final round at the picturesque Plantation Course at Kapalua in a share of the lead, having yet to trail after any round, matched up with none other than world No. 1 Jon Rahm. The soft-spoken Aussie didn’t back down, making birdie at the 72nd hole for a final-round, 8-under 65 and one-shot victory over Rahm at an astounding winning total of 34-under. Not only did Smith set the PGA TOUR’s all-time 72-hole scoring record, but runner-up Rahm (33-under) and third-place Matt Jones (32-under) all surpassed Ernie Els’ previous record total of 31-under, set in 2003 at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. Smith, 28, first demonstrated an affinity for the Aloha vibe with a victory at the 2020 Sony Open in Hawaii – his second of now four TOUR titles, the other two coming at the two-man Zurich Classic of New Orleans, alongside fellow Australians Jonas Blixt (2017) and Marc Leishman (2021). He’ll aim to maintain the vibe in Honolulu at next week’s Sony Open, seeking an Aloha Double with the Sentry Tournament of Champions’ ocean-blue, crescent-shaped trophy already in tow. The adopted Jacksonville, Florida-area resident moves to No. 3 in the FedExCup standings – recording 500 points for the win – as the star continues to burn bright for the affable, mullet-sporting pro.
ISLAND HOPPING TO SONY OPEN
The Sony Open in Hawaii welcomes back the world’s top golfers for four rounds at scenic Waialae Country Club. Twenty-four players who teed it up at the Sentry Tournament of Champions will make the trip from Kapalua to Honolulu, including defending Sony Open champion Kevin Na. Bryson DeChambeau returns to Waialae for the first time since he transformed his body, and the game, to chase speed and distance. The top-ranked amateur in the world, Keita Nakajima, is in the field. Nakajima finished T28 at the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP in his home country of Japan last fall. The full field takes on Waialae, a mainstay on the schedule where wind is always a factor on the tight course, as are the iconic “W” trees. There are 500 FedExCup points on hand for the winner plus a spot in THE PLAYERS, multiple majors and a return trip to paradise in 2023.
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
Jon Rahm shoots a course-record 61 in the third round in Kapalua.
“I really didn’t do anything. I worked out, ate, went to the beach … just had a vacation essentially,” - Viktor Hovland on his preparation in Hawaii while waiting to be reunited with his lost golf clubs.
BY THE NUMBERS
48 – Age of Stewart Cink, who turned back the clock last season after gaining distance off the tee. He won twice on TOUR and averaged more than 306 yards off the tee. Go inside his swing and take a closer look at the changes he made.
25 – PoundsSteve Stricker lost while dealing with a “mysterious ailment” in late November. The captain of the victorious U.S. Ryder Cup team and 12-time TOUR winner has his eyes set on a March return at THE PLAYERS.
3rd – Waialae Country Club’s rank as the longest-running host venue (non-major) on the PGA TOUR behind Colonial Country Club and Pebble Beach Golf Links. The Sony Open begins this week in Honolulu.
COMCAST BUSINESS TOUR TOP 10
The Comcast Business TOUR TOP 10 highlights and rewards the extraordinary level of play required to earn a spot in the TOP 10 at the conclusion of the FedExCup Regular Season as determined by the FedExCup standings. The competition recognizes and awards the most elite in golf.