Ram wins the Tournament of Champions and Morikawa loses a huge lead

Kapalua, Hawaii – John Ram Maui is left with a trophy he wasn’t expecting, all because of the meltdown from Colin Morikawa Didn’t see anyone coming.

Ram started the final round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions seven shots behind. He cheated his first hole. He had returned six shots at the turn to Morikawa, who had to make a bogey all week at Kapalua.

“A little crazy day,” Ram said, “I’m not going to lie.”

A wild hour featured a seven-putt swing on four holes when Ram parred three consecutive birdies and an eagle, and Morikawa, playing two sets behind him, made three straight bogeys on holes that the rest of the course played collectively at 44-under-foot. .

Ram ended up making another birdie for a 10-under 63 and two-shot victory over Morikawa (72), who went from an emphatic win to a footnote in PGA Tour history as the ninth player to lose a six-shot lead. Go to the final round.

“It will hurt but I have to get over it because we are still in the early stages of the season,” Morikawa said.

So he kicked off a bold new year for the PGA Tour’s soaring championships averaging $20 million in prize money in an effort to bring together the best of the often and reward them amidst the Saudi-funded LIV Golf Challenge.

The Ram is riding a big wave, winning for the third time in its past five World Championship matches.

“In my opinion, since August I feel like the best player in the world,” he said.

For Morikawa, it was an epic erasure even by Maui standards.

He was still three shots ahead when he shot a 25-yard bunker over the 14th green and made it bogey. On the 5th and 13th of a par 5, his five woods spilled right enough to go downhill and let his dreaded slash, up the hill with the mighty grain of grass in it. He muted the slide and took a bogey. And then on the 16th his wedge wasn’t long enough and he rolled off the false front of the green 70 feet from the pin for a third straight bogey.

“He’s still shooting 63,” Morikawa said. “He definitely made birdies when he needed to. But I also made the bogey. When you get a bogey at that time of the tournament, it’s expensive. I definitely felt the weight of that.”

He ended up tying the PGA Tour record for the most 54-hole loss in six shots. Eight other players have recently done so Scotty Scheffler Tour Championship last year. This event has an amazing start to par based on the FedEx Cup standings. The last occasion was to play the regular stroke Dustin Johnson In 2017 at the HSBC Champions in Shanghai.

He also became the first player in tour history to enter the final round with 6 or more strokes, shooting par in the final round and fail to win the event, according to ESPN Stats & Information Research.

Morikawa looked in shock as he walked down the 17th fairway, leading as many as seven shots through the final round and suddenly finding himself two shots behind and losing hope.

Ram was also surprised. He knew he was back in the game, and as he was walking down the 17th lane and looking at the video board, he saw his image on the screen with a “1” next to his position – not even a “T1” for the tie signal.

Ram said he looked at the can Adam Hayes and said, “What’s going on?”

It was Morikawa’s second collapse in just over a year. Close 2021 at Challenge the world of the hero He has a five-shot lead with a chance of reaching No. 1 in the world with a victory. He shot 76 and finished fifth.

Masters champ Scheffler gets a chance to return to No. 1 this week if he finishes in a two-way tie for third or better. He had to settle for 70 and tied for seventh.

The Ram finished at 27-under-265, which was a small measure of salvation. Last year he finished at 33-under-par at Kapalua, a PGA Tour record that lasted just a few seconds. Cameron Smith He finished 34th under one win short.

Ram is now under 60 in his previous two matches in Kapalua. The win was his ninth on the PGA Tour and 17th globally, and confirms he will return to Maui to start 2024.

He won $2.7 million of the $15 million purse at Kapalua, the first of the “high” events on the PGA Tour schedule. He also earned 25% of Player Impact bonus money – he finished 5th in PIP for $6 million.

The Spaniard has now won in each of his seven full years on the PGA.

Tom Hogg He has 64 and tied for third with Max Homa (66). Hoge headed to the airport to go to Los Angeles to watch his school, TCU, play in the College Football Playoff National Championship against Georgia. Then Hoge will return to Hawai’i for the Sony Open.

Information from the Associated Press is used in this report.

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