Cameron Smith makes PGA Tour history in $2 million triumph

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  • Cameron Smith
    Cameron Smith
    Professional golfer
Cameron Smith created history to claim his fourth career title on the PGA Tour. Pic: Getty
Cameron Smith created history to claim his fourth career title on the PGA Tour. Pic: Getty

Cameron Smith has created history after holding off World No.1 Jon Rahm in the final round of the Tournament of Champions in Hawaii to win the opening US PGA Tour event of the year in record fashion.

The Aussie closed out his week with an eight-under 65 to finish a PGA Tour record 34-under and one shot clear of playing partner Rahm.

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The extraordinary feat saw the 28-year-old secure a wire-to-wire victory on the Plantation Course at the Kapalua Resort in Maui, after both men started the final day sharing the lead.

The victory saw Smith pocket a cool $US$1,476,000 ($A2.05m).

While Smith became the fourth Australian to win the tournament and add to his three other PGA titles, his compatriot Matt Jones charged home with two eagles on the back nine in a sparkling 61 to grab third spot at 32-under par.

"Man it was intense," said Smith, who entered the week ranked No. 21 in the Official World Golf Ranking. 

"Johnny and I played well the whole day. We had many in the group in front lighting it up as well. Unreal round, something I'll never forget for sure."

Fellow Aussie Jones also shot his way into the record books when he finished with a final round 61, to go with his third round 62.

The extraordinary final two rounds for Jones meant he recorded the lowest 36-hole score to par in PGA Tour history.

Smith, who earned his spot in the small winners-only field with a victory at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans last season, entered Sunday tied with Rahm in the lead — though the duo held a huge five-shot lead over the rest of the field. 

The Australian held at least a share of the lead after every round at Kapalua, too.

He jumped out to an early two-shot lead over Rahm on Sunday, too. That, though, didn’t last long after Rahm made four birdies in a five-hole stretch early on the back side to get right back in it.

Thankfully for Smith, he matched Rahm with birdies on three of those holes to keep him just one back.

Cam Smith holds on for record win in Hawaii

Smith then entered the final hole up one, and nearly reached the green at the par 5 in two. 

He left a deep putt for eagle from just off the edge of the green just short. 

Rahm narrowly missed his eagle putt, and tapped in for birdie to get to 33-under on the week.

That pressure didn't bother Smith one bit. He sank his short birdie putt to get to 8-under on the day and win the event. 

Seen here, Cameron Smith salutes the crowd after winning the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.
Cameron Smith's -34 at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii was the lowest 72-hole total in PGA Tour history. Pic: Getty

His 34-under also set a new PGA Tour scoring record for the lowest score ever recorded in a 72-hole event.

"I was just trying to hit one shot at a time, I know that sounds cliche," Smith said. "We spoke about it earlier in the day, we wanted to get to 35-under. We missed it by one. So in that sense disappointing, but happy to come away with the W."

Rahm finished one shot ahead of Jones, whose final round 61 saw him end the tournament on 32-under. 

Jones tied the course record at Kapalua, which Rahm and Justin Thomas each hit on Saturday. 

Patrick Cantlay, who on the FedExCup last season, finished in fourth at 26-under. 

with agencies

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