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Jon Rahm, second in the tournament of champions

Only the lowest result compared to par in the history of the American golf circuit (PGA), the incredible -34 that Australian Cameron Smith signed this Sunday, separated Jon Rahm (-33) from the victory in the Sentry Tournament of Champions , the tournament that brings together the winners of a championship in the last season in the Hawaiian field of Kapalua. At the tournament of champions, Rahm came back in style after nearly 90 days out of action. It has been the time that the number one in the world has needed to “clear the mind” after finishing saturated with golf. “For the first time in my life I don't want to see a stick,” he said when in mid-October he missed the cut at the Valderrama Masters, the second tournament followed in Spain after the National Open.

Rahm had said enough. He then chained one season together with another with little rest, linked by a specific job dedicated to getting used to the change of material. That was joined by a crazy 2021: fatherhood, the conquest of his first great, the establishment as number one, two infections by covid, the forced resignation to the Tokyo Games, the Davis Cup, the great follow-up in Spain … A cocktail of emotions that saturated Rahm until he exploded at the Open and at Valderrama. The warrior needed a break “to be a father”, to be with the family, to go three weeks without, indeed, picking up a golf club, and then to work in the gym and on his game to return with the same hunger as always. Which he has shown in Kapalua in four masterful rounds: -7, -7, -12 (field record) and -7 for some 33 shots under par, only one worse than an intractable Cameron Smith, another titan.

It was in that third round that Rahm once again exhibited near-perfect golf, as in last year's Memorial Tournament, the last day of the British Open and the US Open that he took home, his first Grand Slam crown. The Basque was a beast that had been caged until he was back at his best game. This is how he stood this Sunday against Smith in a beautiful duel in which neither surrendered, always hand in hand, feeding on great blows. Until the 18th hole they came only separated with a stroke. Birdie for each one and that -34 of record against the -33 of the Spanish, a result with which he would have won any tournament in the history of the PGA … minus this one. The best Rahm is back.

Final ranking of the Sentry Tournament of Champions.

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