A perfect stat sheet kept Jon Rahm in position Friday to take the first PGA Tour event of the new year.
On a sun-splashed afternoon at Kapalua that was still played under preferred lies because of wet conditions, Rahm hit all 15 fairways and every green on his way to another 66 at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. At 14-under 132, he has yet to record a bogey this week and sits three shots back of Cameron Smith at the halfway point.
Asked what went well in the second round, Rahm said: “Pretty much everything. Can’t say much. It was really good tee to green. If there’s anything to put an asterisk on, it’s maybe putting.”
Ah, yes, Rahm’s putting, which wasn’t terrible – he needed 32 putts, which wasn’t that abnormal after hitting all 18 greens – but it still left him feeling as though he could have been a few shots better. In the second round he holed only 48 feet worth of putts while barely breaking even (0.039) against the field.
Rahm was one of a handful of players who mentioned post-round how the greens were slower on Day 2, despite the Plantation Course not receiving any additional rainfall after a wet December. “Me and Patrick (Cantlay) talked about it a little bit,” Rahm said. “It could have just been us, but it felt like they were a little bit slower, and I just felt like I left a lot of putts out there on-line that, with the right speed, might have had a chance of going in. Either way, it was still a solid round of golf.”
Full-field scores from the Sentry Tournament of Champions
Though Rahm struggled to get to the ball to the hole, Smith, the tournament leader, has been filling it up over the first 36 holes. Smith has drained 204 feet worth of putts through two rounds, easily the best in the field, and gained more than four strokes on the field.
With two rounds to go, Rahm is content to keep giving himself chances while ranking third in the field in strokes gained: tee to green.
“I’m nitpicking, right, because I had so many chances out there. I had so many putts for birdie that it looks like you’re missing a lot, but the make percentage is not that high,” he said. “So, pluses and minuses, but it’s still really, really good golf.”