It seemed implausible. Hell, impossible. Jon Rahm trailed Collin Morikawa by nine shots early in the final round at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. But by day’s end the 28-year-old Spaniard had rallied to win the PGA Tour’s 2023 opener by two shots, thanks to a closing 10-under 63 – and some untimely bogeys from Morikawa down the stretch.
Although much of the focus will be on Morikawa’s late-round implosion (three straight bogeys on the back nine after having played the entire week to that point bogey-free) that would be unfair to Rahm, who produced a 10-under-par 63 to make up ground in a hurry. Case in point was Rahm’s play on the par-5 15th, where he ripped a 325-metre drive and set up a short iron into the green. His second shot finished 12 feet from the hole, and when he made the eagle putt while Morikawa was bogeying the short par-4 14th, Rahm was suddenly tied for the lead. That culminated a four-hole stretch for Rahm in which he played them in five-under par.
Rahm came to Kapalua with a revamped top end of the bag, swapping all of his woods for Callaway’s new Paradym Triple Diamond model – a bold move considering Rahm led the tour in strokes gained/off-the-tee last season with his Callaway Rogue ST driver.
The switch, however, appeared seamless. Rahm ranked sixth in strokes gained/off-the-tee while ranking second in driving distance, a stat aided by the fact he had at least one tee shot of more than 400 yards in each round.
The driver uses a fully carbon-composite midsection that comprises much of the entire body of the clubhead and is 44-percent lighter than if it were made of titanium. That weight savings is used to create a more efficient system for transferring energy to the ball at impact.
What Jon Rahm had in the bag at the 2023 Sentry Tournament of Champions:
Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X
Driver: Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond (Aldila Tour Green 75 TX), 10.5 degrees
3-wood: Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond, 16 degrees
5-wood: Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond, 18 degrees
Irons (4-PW): Callaway Apex TCB
Wedges: Callaway Jaws raw (52, 56, 60 degrees)
Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG Rossie