Jon Rahm Explains Why Tiger Woods Deserves Credit for Low Scoring PGA Tour Events: ‘He Was Better Than All of Us Have Ever Been’

Published 01/10/2022, 9:00 AM EST
January 9, 2022; Maui, Hawaii, USA; Jon Rahm acknowledges the crowd after making his putt on the 13th hole during the final round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions golf tournament at Kapalua Resort – The Plantation Course. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports| Reuters


The recently concluded Sentry Tournament of Champions proved to be a wholesome treat and a perfect start to the new year. Over the course of these four days, there was a rainfall of birdies and eagles. More than that, records were shattered, and the rejuvenated players put on some consistently spectacular play. Jon Rahm and Cameron Smith stole the spotlight and truly impressed us with their golf.

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In a display of the strong mental game, Smith held off world number one Rahm to snag the title and the $1.476 million cash prize. Moreover, in a stunning feat, he maintained this lead throughout the four days, not once surrendering to Rahm, who managed to always catch up.

January 9, 2022; Maui, Hawaii, USA; Cameron Smith (right) is congratulated by Jon Rahm (left) after Smith won on the 18th hole during the final round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions golf tournament at Kapalua Resort – The Plantation Course. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports| Courtesy: Reuters

However, the highlight of the weekend was the multiple marks that were breached. First, Justin Thomas, with a score of 61 in the third round, beat the course record, and Jon Rahm followed suit. In addition, three golfers- Smith, Rahm, and Matt Jones- scorched over Ernie Els’ record for the lowest score at 31-under, set all the way back in 2003.

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These insane performances and low scores by the golfers led many to believe that the standard of the course was not up to the PGA Tour level. Moreover, many fans went to the lengths to call it ‘boring.’ The truth remains that despite the course not being the toughest one of the season, the players are also constantly improving. Jon Rahm elaborated on exactly this in his post-round interview on Sunday.

Jon Rahm explains the low scores in Kapalua

The interviewer, bringing up the fact of the multiple ‘number of scores under par,’ asked him if the golf world should be getting used to playing like this. Especially considering ‘the fact that there are so many good players.’

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Rahm replies, “Well, that’s it. I know who you’re referring to, right? You have what’s probably a lot of purists of the game who are probably going, Oh, you got to roll the ball back, shorter drivers, do this, do that.” He goes on to explain that ever since Tiger Woods has emerged on the scene, the sport is being taken more seriously on a global level. This, in turn, has propelled the game of each player forward, higher than it was.

“Not to take away anything from anybody, Tiger’s an amazing player and he was better than all of us have ever been, but overall I think the average player, it’s a better golf player. And when you come to a golf course where the only defense is wind, just, at least you expect 20 miles an hour here, and we usually shoot 20- to 26-under and win the tournament.”

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It’s hard not to see the truth behind his words, right? Compared to 25 years ago, the improved status of golf alone has produced better players than before.

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Ishita Bhargava

380 articles

Ishita Bhargava is a Golf content writer at Essentially Sports. Currently pursuing her undergraduate degree from the Shri Ram College of Commerce, she has a keen interest in sports and fitness. When not playing or watching a sports event, Ishita can be seen spending time with her pets or binge-watching.

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