Jon Rahm will go down as the answer to a fairly subtle golf trivia question: Who was the winner of the PGA Tour’s first-ever “designated” event?

The 28-year-old Spaniard claimed the title at the Sentry Tournament of Champions today, posting a 10-under 63 to win for a 27-under 265 total to grab his eighth career victory on the PGA Tour – a year after finishing second in this event.

And yet, the fact that this is so is astonishing. With six holes to play on Sunday, you could have bet Rahm’s entire $US2.7 million ($A3.9 million) first-place prizemoney payout that the winner in Hawaii was going to be someone else. Collin Morikawa started the final round with a six-shot lead at Kapalua Resort’s Plantation Course, extended it to seven shots at one point during the final round and was ahead of Rahm by four shots with just five holes remaining.

And then, suddenly and shockingly, Morikawa made three consecutive bogeys—after playing his first 67 holes of the week bogey-free—and saw the lead incredibly disappear. Morikawa would post a final-round 72, becoming just the eighth player in tour history to fail to close out a six-shot 54-hole lead.

Indeed, Rahm was actually nine shots back of Morikawa after the eventual winner made a bogey on first hole on Sunday, only to track him down for the unlikely win.

Back to the trivia question: the Sentry TOC was the first of the 13 events the tour has given an “elevated” status in 2023 in response to the upstart LIV Golf Series offering guaranteed contracts and exorbitant purses. The tour is promoting these tournaments as an opportunity for its best players to compete against each other more often – and rewarding them for doing so by paying significant prize money payouts. The overall purse in Hawaii was $15 million – with the remaining elevated events handing out between $20 million and $25 million each.

Just how can you put the big boost in prizemoney in perspective? Let’s compare the difference in payouts from just a year ago until now. The 2022 Sentry TOC had a $8.2-million purse with Cam Smith earning $1.476 million for his victory (an Rahm pulling in $810,000). And to make $200,000 – which is how much last place paid, you had to have a top-nine finish in 2022.

Here’s a comparison on the prizemoney payouts for the two events:


It’s interesting to note, too, that 10 years ago, the overall purse for this event was a mere $5.7 million.

Here’s the listing again for the prizemoney payout for 2023.

Win: Jon Rahm, -27, $2,700,000

2: Collin Morikawa, -25, $1,500,000

T-3: Tom Hoge, -23, $840,000

T-3: Max Homa, -23, $840,000

T-5: Tom Kim, -22, $555,000

T-5: J.J. Spaun, -22, $555,000

T-7: Tony Finau, -21, $368,750

T-7: K.H. Lee, -21, $368,750

T-7: Scottie Scheffler, -21, $368,750

T-7: Matt Fitzpatrick, -21, $368,750

11: $300,000

12: $285,000

13: $275,000

14: $265,000

15: $255,000

16: $245,000

17: $237,000

18: $232,000

19: $229,000

20: $226,000

21: $223,000

22: $221,000

23: $219,000

24: $217,000

25: $215,000

26: $213,000

27: $212,000

28: $211,000

29: $210,000

30: $209,000

31: $208,000

32: $207,000

33: $206,000

34: $205,000

35: $204,000

36: $203,000

37: $202,000