Rahm cards course record to claim share of Tournament of Champions lead with Smith

By Sports Desk January 08, 2022

World number one Jon Rahm made his move on the third day of the Tournament of Champions with a course-record round to join Cameron Smith with a share of the lead in Hawaii.

The Spaniard carded a 12-under-round 61 to move level with Smith, who led by three shots at the halfway mark, on 26 under after three rounds at the Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort.

Rahm's round was an equal course record, with 2017 PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas also carding a 12-under-61 on Saturday to surge up the leaderboard to 17 under.

Last year's US Open champion Rahm shot 11 birdies with one eagle and one bogey in his round, drawing level with the Australian when he sunk a 29-foot putt on the 17th hole.

Smith, who also had a one-shot lead after the opening day, held firm with six birdies on his back nine.

The lead pair are five strokes clear of the next best, with American Daniel Berger slipping off the pace after a third straight round of 66 to be 21 under.

Berger finished his round with five consecutive birdies to keep his faint hopes alive.

Matt Jones, Sungjae Im and Patrick Cantlay are tied at 20 under, ahead of Marc Leishman at 18 under with Thomas and 2021 Masters winner Hideki Matsuyama at 17 under.

Top 10 duo Bryson DeChambeau and Xander Schauffele were unable to make any major inroads on the third day and are further back at 15 under.

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    Woods had rebounded from a disappointing opening round of 74 to make the cut with Friday score of 69, which even he admitted "wasn't pretty".

    However, things were far less pretty in his third round, especially on the sixth hole as he suffered a triple bogey.

    Up until that point, the 46-year-old had not been doing too badly, making par on four of the first five holes (one bogey), but that setback on six led to a slide.

    After another bogey at seven in tough conditions, Woods made par on eight before bogeying five holes in a row to sit on 10 over for the round after 13 holes.

    The 15-time major champion was able to save some face after that, making par on 14 before his first and only birdie of the day at 15.

    Three pars to finish saved his blushes as he just avoided carding 80, which he has only ever done twice at majors - scoring 81 in round three of the 2002 Open Championship, and 80 in the first round of the 2015 US Open.

    He goes into Sunday on 12 over par, tied for 76th.

     

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    However, things were far less pretty in his third round, especially on the sixth hole as he suffered a triple bogey.

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    After another bogey at seven in tough conditions, Woods made par on eight before bogeying five holes in a row to sit on 10 over for the round after 13 holes.

    The 15-time major champion was able to save some face after that, making par on 14 before his first and only birdie of the day at 15.

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    "I'm hoping I can shoot a number like Bubba did today," he added. "That's where my mind is at right now. I've got to do some things physically to get myself there tomorrow and it will be a quick turnaround.

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