10 Notes to Know: January 25, 2021

January 25, 2021
Justin Ray
  1. Si Woo Kim shot a final round 64 to beat hard-charging Patrick Cantlay by one stroke at The American Express. Kim picked up his third PGA Tour victory at age 25 – over the last 40 years, only five other international players have won three or more times before age 26: Rory McIlroy (10 wins), Sergio Garcia (6), Hideki Matsuyama (5), Jon Rahm (5) and Adam Scott (3).
  1. Cantlay made a staggering 20 birdies over his final two rounds – including 11 in his tournament course record, final round 61 – to finish runner-up. Cantlay was trying to become the first player to make the cut on the number and win on the PGA Tour since Brandt Snedeker did it at Torrey Pines five years ago. Cantlay made 151 feet of putts in the final round, a career-high on the PGA Tour.
  1. Tony Finau entered the final round with a share of the lead, but couldn’t break through with his elusive second PGA Tour title. Finau now has a staggering 35 top-ten finishes on the PGA Tour since the beginning of the 2016-17 season, by far the most of anyone without a win in that span. Second-most is 16, by Byeong Hun An, Kevin Streelman and Tommy Fleetwood.
  1. Tyrrell Hatton shot a final round 66 to win the European Tour’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship by four strokes. Hatton gained 13.4 strokes on the field tee-to-green, by far the most of any player in the field (second-best was David Lipsky, at 9.6). Hatton has now won four times worldwide in the last 15 months, tied for the most of any player in the men’s pro game in that span. Dustin Johnson and Daniel van Tonder (Sunshine Tour) also have four wins in that stretch.
  1. Rory McIlroy finished in third place in Abu Dhabi in his 2021 worldwide debut. McIlroy continued one of the more bizarre statistics in sports: 13 times in the last 14 years, Rory has started his season with a top-five finish, but never a victory. McIlroy made four bogeys in his final round after recording just six in the first three rounds combined.
  1. Jessica Korda made birdie on the first playoff hole of the LPGA Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions, defeating Danielle Kang. It was the sixth LPGA victory for Korda, who improved to 2-0 in her career in playoffs. Korda shot 60 in the third round, the sixth round of 60 or lower in LPGA history and the lowest third round score ever recorded on the tour.
  1. Korda and Kang posted 24-under in regulation to force the playoff, carding 72-hole total scores of 260. It was just the second time in LPGA history that multiple players shot 260 or lower in the same 72-hole LPGA event. Angela Stanford and Hee Young Park each shot 72-hole scores of 258 at the 2013 Manulife Financial LPGA Classic.
  1. Darren Clarke started his 2021 PGA Tour Champions run the same way he ended his 2020 – with a victory. Clarke shot a closing 64 on Saturday to win the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai by two shots over Retief Goosen. Clarke hit more than 85% of his greens in regulation, tied for most in the field. He also ranked second in the field in total driving and third in putting average.
  1. The PGA Tour shifts to Torrey Pines next week for the Farmers Insurance Open. Jon Rahm, who won this tournament in 2017, has the best scoring average at the Farmers Insurance Open (69.31) among players with a dozen or more rounds played in the last decade. Marc Leishman, who finished tied for fourth at the Sony Open in his last start, is the defending champion.
  1. The European Tour will remain in the United Arab Emirates next week for the Dubai Desert Classic. Reigning PGA Champion Collin Morikawa will be one of the headliners in the field – he’ll try to join Bryson DeChambeau, Tiger Woods, Mark O’Meara and Fred Couples as Americans to win the event. Hatton, who finished third the event three years ago, is also in the field.