Jon Rahm produced a surprising closing spherical 63 to overturn a seven-shot deficit and win the PGA Tour’s Match of Champions in Hawaii by two photographs.
The Spaniard picked up 5 photographs in 4 holes on the again 9 to overtake Collin Morikawa, who stumbled with three bogeys coming dwelling.
“I wanted to play good and he wanted to make a pair errors,” mentioned Rahm. “If you happen to informed me at the start of the spherical, after that opening bogey, I used to be going to do what I did I don’t know if I’d have believed you.”
It was a 3rd win in six begins for Rahm – after successful in Spain and Dubai late in 2022 – and an eighth PGA Tour title.
Rahm’s spherical began badly. The 28-year-old missed a seven-foot par putt on the primary to fall eight photographs behind Morikawa however had 5 birdies in his subsequent eight holes to enhance to 21 below par after 9. Nevertheless, Morikawa additionally had a stable entrance 9, with three birdies taking his rating to 27 below on the flip.
Rahm then had three successive birdies from the twelfth earlier than carding an eagle three on the par-five fifteenth to maneuver inside one of many lead. Moments later he was joint chief, benefiting from Morikawa thinning a bunker shot throughout the 14th inexperienced and dropping his first shot of the event.
“At that time I bought within the thick of issues and by no means did I believe that going into my third shot on 17 I used to be going to have a one-shot lead,” mentioned Rahm, who missed the inexperienced together with his second shot on his penultimate gap. “That’s after I needed to change a little bit of the mindset of chasing and needing birdies to, ‘let’s get this up-and-down, hopefully birdie 18 and provides ourselves the perfect likelihood’.”
Rahm put Callaway’s new Paradym driver and fairway woods into the bag this week
Rahm led as a result of Morikawa dropped one other shot on the fifteenth. He duffed a easy chip after which missed a seven-foot putt for par. And his brief sport let him down once more on the par-four sixteenth after an excellent drive left him with a 55-yard pitch for his second. He misjudged the spin on his ball and it ended up 70 ft from the outlet and he might solely three-putt from there.
Rahm immediately led by two and picked up one other birdie on the 648-yard par-five final gap after discovering the inexperienced in two photographs and two-putting from 65 ft. Morikawa additionally accomplished the ultimate gap in 4 photographs however his birdie proved scant comfort with Rahm finishing the largest comeback victory within the event’s historical past.
“You’re employed so onerous and also you give your self these alternatives,” mentioned the 2021 Open winner, who matched the PGA Tour document held by seven different gamers of squandering a six-shot lead within the closing spherical. “I simply made three poor swings, actually, on the flawed occasions. It’s by no means an excellent time to place a poor swing on it, however typically it really works out and these by no means labored out. I don’t know what I’m going to study from this week, however it simply didn’t appear to be it was that far off. It actually wasn’t. Yeah, it sucks.”
Fellow People Tom Hoge (64) and Max Homa (66) had been joint third on 23 below. Matt Fitzpatrick ended alongside Masters winner Scottie Scheffler – who might have returned to world primary with a better end this week – on 21 below after each carded closing 70s.
In addition to being excellent consequence for Rahm, the Spaniard’s victory additionally supplied an enormous endorsement for his gear sponsor Callaway, which solely final week formally launched the brand new Paradym vary of woods and irons, a number of of which had been in Rahm’s bag. Rahm put the Paradym Triple Diamond driver straight into the bag for this week, and averaged 317.3 yards off the tee –round ten yards greater than the sphere common – while his driving accuracy (73.33%) was considerably higher than the sphere (51.67%). Rahm additionally had two Paradym Triple Diamond fairway woods in play.
JON RAHM’S WINNING GEAR
Driver: Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond (10.5°)
Fairway woods: Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond (16°)
Irons: Callaway Apex TCB (4-PW)
Wedges: Callaway JAWS Uncooked (52°, 56°, 60°)
Putter: Odyssey White Sizzling OG Rossie S
Ball: Callaway Chrome Gentle X