Smith and Rahm each birdied holes 13 to 15 at Kapalua’s Plantation course today, then parred the next two holes before matching birdies at the par-5 18th to give Smith with a one-shot margin of victory.
Without a bogey over his final 52 holes, Smith had many facets of his game working. The 28-year-old ranked second in strokes gained/off-the-tee, picking up more than 3.5 strokes on the field while also ranking fourth in driving distance at 276.7 metres (302.6 yards). Smith’s strokes-gained mark was aided nicely by driving the green on the short par-4 14th hole, using his 10-degree Titleist TSi3 driver with a Fujikura Ventus Blue 60x shaft.
Smith also hit 86.1 percent of his greens in regulation. His irons are Titleist’s T100 in an all-black configuration, including the heads and shafts. When the Aussie did miss a green, he got up and down 80 percent of the time with his Titleist Vokey SM9 wedges – a model just recently introduced to the company’s tour staff.
Smith’s ability to get up and down is not only a testament to his short game and putting (he led the field in strokes gained/putting as well as putts per green in regulation) but also his grit.
“I’m a resilient guy,” the now four-time PGA Tour winner told Golf Digest in 2019. “It all stems from these words my dad told me: ‘Some days are diamonds, some days are duck s–t.’ When things are going bad, I sometimes recall those words. It’s such a good terminology for golf, which can be so brittle. You wake up one day and can’t miss a shot and then the next day you feel like you’re playing like a 20-handicapper. Things tend to go up and down all the time and sometimes it’s helpful to just remind yourself of that.”
At Kapalua, there was a lot more up than down.
7-wood: Titleist TSi2, 21 degrees