Tournament of Champions: Rahm rides the ‘birdie train’ to a share of the lead at the top of the leaderboard

Tournament of Champions
Source: Skysports

Tournament of Champions: On Saturday, Jon Rahm shot a 12-under-par 61 to tie Cameron Smith for the lead heading into the final day of the Tournament of Champions at Kapalua, Hawaii.

Rahm matched his career-best score and matched Justin Thomas’ course record established earlier in the day. Rahm was one under par after six holes before closing with an 11-under par round.

“You go on the birdie train, and things like today can happen,” Rahm said.

The outstanding performance was only good enough to tie Smith, who had a three-stroke lead going into the day. After shooting an eight-under-par 65 in the first round, Smith recorded a nine-under-par 64 for the second day in a row.

Rahm lauded Smith, claiming that the two golfers pushed each other to their finest performance in Round 3.

“We had a great battle today, and I’m sure tomorrow will be much better,” Rahm said. “To get ahead and win, we’re going to need a lot more birdies.”

Through three rounds, Smith and Rahm are both at 26 under par. They lead Daniel Berger, who is alone in third place at 21 under, by five strokes.

Matt Jones, Sungjae Im, and Patrick Cantlay, all 20 years old, are in a three-way tie for fourth place. Jones shot an 11-under 62 on Saturday to move up the leaderboard.

Smith, who is aiming to win the tournament, said he enjoyed the competition.

“Today was a lot of fun out there,” Smith remarked. “Obviously, playing good golf is beneficial. But watching Jon play on the back nine was very exciting, some of the best golf I’ve ever seen, and probably some of the best putting.

“So, one more day,” says the narrator. We’ll see what happens tomorrow whether we can do much of the same.”

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