Collin Morikawa collapses on Sunday at Kapalua
Jon Rahm battled from a seven-shot deficit to overtake Morikawa in the final round on Maui
The first PGA tournament of the new year delivered on drama. In contrast to Kapalua’s typical birdie fest, the fireworks came as part of a final round, bogey-fueled collapse authored by Collin Morikawa.
The Sentry Tournament of Champions is always low scoring, which makes Morikawa’s 1-under final round striking. His six-shot lead entering the day evaporated in the space of three holes on the back-nine when he bogeyed three straight after not registering a single bogey in the first three days of the tournament. Meanwhile Rahm came roaring back playing his final 17 holes in 11-under.
Morikawa played the first 67 holes of the event at the Plantation Course in 27-under with no bogeys before his 3-over scoreline on holes 68-70.
With that Morikawa joined a list nobody wants to be a part of — it was only the ninth time in tour history a six-shot lead after 54 holes was surrendered going all the way back to 1928.
According to Data Golf’s live win probability model, Morikawa had an 80 percent chance to win the tournament headed into Sunday’s round, and even had a 97 percent chance at the turn before it all unraveled.
Rahm matched the low round of the week with a 63 (-10 under par) to complete the monstrous comeback at Kapalua. The Spaniard finished the final round with +5.61 total strokes-gained on the day, and +2.69 for the entire tournament. Morikawa on the other hand registered -3.39 SG on Sunday, a +9.0 swing compared to Rahm who wound up winning the tournament by two strokes.
Rahm was down seven shots at one point after bogeying the first hole.
“If you told me at the beginning of the round after that bogey that I was going to do what I did and have a three-shot lead after finishing, I don't know if I would've believed you,” Rahm said in a post-round interview.”
Next week the PGA Tour will hop islands for the Sony Open in Hawaii at Waialae CC.
Thanks for reading Between The Pipes! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
Bobby Cruickshank was the first to do it. With a name like that you’re due for a collapse. Morikawa now owns two of those nine six-shot, 54-hold lead chokes.
Max Homa shot a 63 on Saturday to put himself in contention for the final round.
Stokes-Gained (SG) is a measure of a player’s performance against the field scoring average. It was developed by Professor Mark Broadie of Columbia University as a better method for measuring performance compared to traditional golf statistics. I use Data Golf’s version available here.