Cameron Smith set a record 72-hole score on the PGA Tour as he claimed a stunning triumph at the Tournament of Champions.

Smith entered the final round in a share of the lead with Jon Rahm, who tied the course record with his 12-under-par 61 on Saturday.

Rahm was again in stellar form at Kapalua, going seven under for his fourth round, but came up just short as Smith made the most of favourable scoring conditions in Maui.

The Australian carded a blemish-free eight-under 65, which he capped with a three-foot putt for a clinching birdie.

That saw him improve to a 34-under 258 for the tournament. No man has ever finished as many shots under par on the PGA Tour, with Smith beating Ernie Els' tournament record score of 31 under set way back in 2003.

Rahm also bettered that score, as did Smith's compatriot Matt Jones, who finished 32 under par to claim third place.

But the day and the week in Hawaii belonged to Smith, who has now won the tour for three successive seasons.

"Mate, it was intense. Jonny and I played well the whole day and we had Matty in the group in front lighting it up as well," Smith said.

"Unreal round, something I'll never forget for sure.

"I was just trying to hit one shot at a time, I know that sounds cliche. We spoke about it earlier in the day that we wanted to get to 35 under. We missed it by one so in that sense disappointing but happy to come away with the W."

Rahm, making his season debut, understandably took heart from a performance that would under most circumstances have earned him victory.

"I have every reason to be smiling," Rahm said. "It's a bittersweet moment."

Justin Thomas insists his "embarrassing" and "humiliating" use of a homophobic slur is "not me" and reflected on Ralph Lauren's decision to stop working with him as a result of the incident.

World number three Thomas was heard making the offensive comment by a television microphone when playing at the Tournament of Champions in Hawaii earlier this month.

Afterwards, Thomas apologised for his "inexcusable" use of the slur and he again addressed the issue when previewing the Abu Dhabi Championship on the European Tour this weekend. 

"It's humiliating. It's embarrassing. It's not me. It's not a word that I use, but for some reason, it was in there," Thomas said. 

"And that's what I'm trying to figure out as to why it was in there, and just like I said, it's going to be a part of this process and training program or whatever I need to do, not only to prove to myself but prove to my sponsors and prove to those people that don't know who I am that that is indeed not the person I am."

Thomas will be playing without shirt branding in Abu Dhabi after Ralph Lauren opted to end its partnership with the 27-year-old.

Asked about the company's decision, Thomas replied: "I think disappointed is the wrong word. 

"Obviously I was upset. But at the end of the day, they have that right. They had to make the decision that they had to make. I spoke with them along with all my sponsors. 

"Although I apologised, it's like it was then; it's an opportunity for me to grow and I felt like it was something we could have done together and gone through that process. 

"They just felt like they needed to move on. That's exactly what I'm doing, as well. It was a great run that we had and a great partnership, but you know, things will work out on the best."

Thomas confirmed conversations have been held with his other sponsors, adding: "I've had great communication with all of them. 

"It was obviously not calls or e-mails I was hoping or planning to make but I needed to because I have some great long-lasting partnerships with all my sponsors. They know that's not the person that I am.

"They know that's not how I act and although they are far from brushing it to the side just like I am, they understand that this is an opportunity for me to educate myself, grow, become a better person, and just like they hope, I know that I'll become a better man and a better person because of it, and they are going to kind of help me along that process."

Thomas earned the backing of Rory McIlroy, who is confident his on-course rival will learn from his error in judgement.

"I think he's already responded really, really well," the four-time major winner said. 

"I think he realised he made a big mistake as soon as it was brought to him and he completely owned up to it. He said he messed up; he's going to try to be better. 

"And you know, Justin is true to his word. He will be. If anything, it will probably just make him a better person than he already is, which is hard because he's already a great guy."

Harris English secured his first win since 2013 with a play-off victory at the Tournament of Champions on Sunday.

The American carded a four-under 69 in the final round to finish alongside Joaquin Niemann (64) at the end of regulation in Kapalua, Hawaii.

English stepped up to birdie the par-five 18th hole in the play-off, overcoming Niemann for his first win since 2013.

"It's incredible," he told the Golf Channel after his third PGA Tour success.

"A lot of hard work over the years, you never think you're going to get here again, winning twice back in 2013 and it's just hard to win out here.

"I had a really good chance this week and felt good about my game and you've just got to get it done."

Niemann produced a stunning nine-under 64 in the final round to finish at 25 under.

But English birdied his final hole to force a play-off and he delivered to secure the title.

Two-time champion Justin Thomas (66) finished at 24 under, a shot ahead of Ryan Palmer (71).

Im Sung-jae (69) and Xander Schauffele (66) ended up tied for fifth at 21 under.

World number two Jon Rahm got going with a six-under 67, but it was only enough to finish tied for seventh alongside Bryson DeChambeau (66) and Collin Morikawa (73).

Dustin Johnson, meanwhile, carded a second straight 69 to finish tied for 11th.

Justin Thomas apologised for using an "inexcusable" homophobic slur during the third round of the Tournament of Champions on Saturday.

Defending champion Thomas' comment was picked up by a television microphone after he missed a five-foot putt for par on the fourth hole.

"It's inexcusable, first off I just apologise. There's just no excuse. I'm an adult, I'm a grown man - there's absolutely no reason for me to say anything like that. It's terrible," the 2017 PGA Championship winner told the Golf Channel.

"I'm extremely embarrassed. It's not the kind of person that I am.

"Unfortunately, I did it, and I have to own up to it and I'm very apologetic. I'm speechless. I found out when I got done with my round. It's bad. There's no other way to put it.

"I need to do better, I need to be better. It's definitely a learning experience. I deeply apologise to anyone and everybody who I offended, and I'll be better because of it."

Thomas finished his round by carding a five-under 68, which saw him slip three places down the leaderboard for a share of fifth alongside Sungjae Im on 17 under for the tournament.

Ryan Palmer and Harris English finished Saturday's action in Hawaii as joint-leaders, the former producing the best round of the day – a nine-under 64.

Palmer and English hold a one-shot lead over Collin Morikawa, with Daniel Berger two further back in fourth.

English could have been the sole leader had Palmer been issued with a penalty for kicking the soil after seeing a chip on the par-five ninth start to roll back from the elevated green.

Players are not allowed to deliberately alter physical conditions while the ball is in motion, but officials determined he was not attempting to improve his lie.

"There was no intention of me trying to abuse the rule. There was no way, because that ball wasn't even going to be close to where I was at," Palmer said.

"[Rules official John Munch] showed me the video and I looked at it and I go, what am I looking at? And it took me watching it twice to understand what he was talking about.

"In disgust, I kicked a divot, but the ball was five feet away from me where it ended up stopping … there was no intention of me trying to help my ball because there was no way my ball was even close to where I was at.

"I was just discussing with James [Edmondson, his caddie] I hit the wrong wedge on the chip shot, in disgust, and then when I got there, I just kind of did the old kick the divot, p***** off motion."

Harris English pulled two strokes clear at the halfway mark of the Tournament of Champions as Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm made their moves.

English, who shared the overnight lead with Justin Thomas, carded a six-under 67 in the second round in Kapalua, Hawaii on Friday.

The American produced a bogey-free round that featured six birdies to move into 14 under at the first PGA Tour event of 2021.

English is two shots ahead of Thomas (69), Daniel Berger (65), Collin Morikawa (65) and Ryan Palmer (67).

Thomas, a two-time champion of the tournament, made four birdies on his front nine but a bogey at 13 slowed his momentum before picking up another shot at the last.

The world's two top-ranked players, Johnson and Rahm, charged into contention.

Johnson, who opened with a 71, made eight birdies in a second-round eight-under 65 to get to 10 under – enough for a tie for 10th.

Rahm is alongside him after the Spaniard produced a fast finish, birdieing five of his final seven holes.

Xander Schauffele (66), Brendon Todd (67), Im Sung-jae (68) and Patrick Reed (68) are tied for sixth at 11 under.

Joining Johnson and Rahm at 10 under are Scottie Scheffler (66), Bryson DeChambeau (67), Joaquin Niemann (67), Carlos Ortiz (67) and Patrick Cantlay (68).

Justin Thomas carded an eight-under 65 to share the lead after the opening round of the Tournament of Champions on Thursday.

Two-time champion Thomas produced a bogey-free first round that included eight birdies in Kapalua, Hawaii.

The world number three, winner of the event in 2017 and 2020, made five birdies on the front nine and three on his final five holes.

Thomas shares a two-stroke lead with Harris English in the first PGA Tour event of the year.

The highlight of English's round was an eagle at the ninth hole, where he chipped in from just off the green.

On what is a congested leaderboard, six players are tied for third at six under.

Sergio Garcia, Robert Streb, Nick Taylor, Ryan Palmer, Im Sung-jae and Patrick Reed all opened with 67s.

Garcia won the tournament in 2002, while Reed was victorious in 2015 and has two runner-up finishes since – including last year.

Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay and Brendon Todd carded five-under 68s.

World number one Dustin Johnson is back in a tie for 30th after opening with a 71, while Jon Rahm carded a 70.

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