Just as we all expected, Cameron Smith is the first PGA Tour winner of 2022.
The Australian fired a final-round 65 at the Plantation Course at Kapalua Golf Club to outduel World No. 1 Jon Rahm and win the Sentry Tournament of Champions at 34-under par. Yes, 34-under par.
Smith’s incredible week marked the lowest 72-hole score in PGA Tour history, and it also earned him a cool $1.5 million payout.
Cameron Smith wins the Sentry Tournament of Champions
Smith entered the 2022 PGA Tour season coming off the best year of his professional golf career. The 28-year-old qualified for the Sentry TOC thanks to his win last season at the Zurich Classic, and he didn’t waste the opportunity.
With two eagles and five birdies on Thursday, Smith finished the first round of the tournament in first place by himself at 8-under par. He followed that up with two straight rounds of 64, which put him at 26-under par and in a tie for first place with Rahm heading into the final round.
Paired with the top-ranked player in the world for the final round, Smith made eight birdies and no bogeys en route to an 8-under 65. He birdied the final hole to edge out Rahm by one stroke and win the event at 34-under par.
Rahm finished in second place at 33-under par, and Matt Jones rounded out the podium at 32-under par.
Smith set the record for the lowest 72-hole score in PGA Tour history
Before this weekend, the lowest 72-hole score in PGA Tour history was 31-under par. South African Ernie Els accomplished the feat at the 2003 Mercedes Championship, but his record was just bested by three players in one day.
Jones (32-under) and Rahm (33-under) both broke Els’ record with their incredible weeks, but Smith now holds the lowest 72-hole score in PGA Tour history after his 34-under par performance.
“Mate, it was intense,” Smith said after the win. “Jonny (Rahm) and I played well the whole day. We had Matty (Jones) in the group in front lighting it up, as well. So, yeah, unreal round, something I’ll never forget for sure. … We spoke about it earlier in the day. We wanted to get to 35-under. We missed it by one. So, I mean, in that sense, disappointing, but it’s great to come away with the W.”
Starting 2022 off with a $1.5 million payday
Before this week, Smith had earned just over $17.5 million in PGA Tour winnings throughout his career. He had won three times on Tour before this year, so his win at the Sentry TOC gave him the fourth win of his career.
Smith will bank a cool $1.476 million to kick off the 2022 season, which will bring his career earnings close to $20 million in total. But he should be even more proud of breaking the record for the most prolific scoring week in PGA Tour history.