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The rock was rolling for Rahm

The rock was rolling for Rahm

It’s never over until it’s over.

It’s a cliché that has been uttered throughout time.

And it was proven true in the first PGA Tour event of 2023, the 2023 Sentry Tournament of Champions.

But let me give you some context. My son and his girlfriend were coming home by train on Sunday from a trip five hours away and I had agreed away to pick them up.

I was backing Viktor Hovland (Titleist Pro V1) or Justin Thomas (Titleist Pro V1x) to win the event. Normally before a tournament begins, I look at what happened in the last two years of it to see who has done well and check out betting sites to see who the experts like. Well, I didn’t look at the results of the last two Sentry Tournament of Champions and I didn’t look at enough sites.

Shame on me.

Jon Rahm (Callaway Chrome Soft X), who finished off the 2021-22 season strongly, blistered the course in the final round of the 2022 Sentry event with a seven-under par, losing by one stroke to Cameron Smith (Titleist Pro V1x). I was all over Rahm when he won the 2022 Mexico Open, thinking the event didn’t have a strong field and on pure talent he should win. He did. Rahm was a wise-guy/sharpy pick, which is to say the smart bettors were in on him, while the squares (the ones who don’t do enough homework, i.e. me) were looking away from him. The sharpies were also in on Collin Morikawa (TaylorMade TP5), who finished tied for fifth in the 2022 Sentry after carding a final round 11-under par.

So once I knew I made a mistake on Rahm, I started following him each day, maybe as a form of self-punishment. He was playing okay through the first three rounds but was seven back of Morikawa going into the final round. Morikawa entered the round with a six-stroke lead. While waiting for my son and girlfriend, I was repeatedly checking my smartphone to get updates on my two players. They weren’t making any headway, which is to say they both needed to go on a heater to have any hope of taking a run at Morikawa. They didn’t.

But Rahm started to make a move on the 13th hole, culminating in a 10-under par round. Morikawa, who had a seven-stroke lead at one point during the final round, started to fall apart on the 14th hole and finished the day with a score of one-under par. He ended up losing by two strokes. It was a fatal collapse, to be sure, for anyone who bet on him to win and figured they were home and cooled out at the start of the round. Well, that’s the way the ball bounces or, to in golf talk, the way the rock rolls.

I think the bettors who chose Morikawa were feeling his pain.

My pain centered around Rahm.

 

Perry Lefko
Perry Lefko
Perry Lefko is an award-winning writer who has published nine books, three of them bestsellers. He has been involved in sports writing for more than 35 years and has interviewed many superstar athletes. He lives in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada and enjoys watching golf and playing it.

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