At the Sentry Tournament of Champions, records are dropping faster than New Year’s Resolutions. Jon Rahm and Cameron Smith share the 54-hole lead at 26-under-par 193, the lowest 54-hole total in tournament history and the second-lowest total in relation to par ever on the PGA Tour. Rahm’s 61 on Saturday at Kapalua’s Plantation Course matched the course record, set only hours earlier by Justin Thomas. Friday’s 67.816 overall scoring average was an all-time tournament low at Kapalua … until Saturday when the 67.711 posted became the lowest since the PGA Tour started tracking such things in 1983.
Suffice it to say, everybody knows the deal come Sunday in Maui. Pars won’t get it done, and birdies will be needed in bunches. And even then the two guys out front will probably have to stumble if anybody else is to catch them, given the five-stroke edge they have on the next closest chaser (Daniel Berger) and the six-shot margin on those tied for fourth (Matt Jones, Sungjae Im and Patrick Cantlay).
How likely is the stumbling? Well, given Rahm is the No. 1-ranked player in the world and a six-time PGA Tour winner, you’d assume the 27-year-old Spaniard can handle such situations. Yet, interestingly, in the four previous times he held the lead outright or a share of it entering the final round of an individual stroke-play event on tour, he’s closed out the win just once: 2020 Memorial. (We’re not counting last year’s Memorial, where he technically held the 54-hole lead but was forced to withdraw because of COVID.)
Smith, meanwhile, has only held one 54-hole lead in an individual stroke-play event in his tour career, last year at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, and the 28-year-old Aussie wound up finishing second.
Whoever comes out on top will enjoy a healthy payday to start 2022. The overall prize money payout at Kapalua is $8.2 million split among 38 players, with the winner earning $1,476,000 and last place still bringing home north of $100,000. Here’s the prize money payouts for every golfer in the field at the no-cut event. Come back shortly after the tournament ends and we’ll update all the names and individual payouts.