While freezing your ginko's off in the January cold, you can’t beat watching last year's tour winners teeing it up In beautiful Maui while getting bucket loads of cash to do it at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
It was sensational viewing though with world No.1 Jon Rahm and Ozzie Mullet sensation Cam Smith going toe-to-toe for the final 2 days, the tournament producing some impressive low scores, not once, not twice, but trice for a new course record of 61 (made by Thomas, Rahm and Jones respectively) It was almost as good as Tiger and Charlie contenting in the PNC before Christmas…. Well almost.
It was however an eye-opener and a statement of intent if you will, for the upper echelons of golf’s top dogs. As we witnessed the winner, Smith, play a freewheeling style of golf which was impressive to watch- a man in control of his golf ball and emotions, showing real steel in an epic showdown with an intimidating and in-form world No.1, Jon Rahm.
Smith picked up his 4th PGA tour win and moved to 4th in the FedEx cup standings, combined with the 1.4m in prize money wasn’t a bad day at the office I reckon’. Rahm, was an absolute maniac, however, making a new PGA record for most birdies (32) in a 72-hole event, and looked fresh and focused having not played competitively since the Ryder cup. I wouldn’t bet against him this year, and we are expecting some more major silverware to adorn his trophy cabinet before the end of the year. Another Ozzie worthy of note was Matt 'Quickdraw' Jones, firing back-to-back low ones of 62 and 61! It’s not often that will happen and you finish third!
Our boy Matsuyama didn’t look too bad either finishing T13 on -21. The Ehime native hadn’t played too much over the break but looked pretty good over the four days including a 65 on Friday. The takeaway for us was his Iron play was looking fairly crispy, and when the rest of his game comes in line we know he is hard to beat. We will be looking forward to seeing him defend the ZOZO in Japan and of course, the masters before that, but not as much as seeing what's in store for the champions dinner- Sushi, Sake, and maybe even a Tejime hand clap at the end! Roll on 2022! Banzai!