Sungjae Im put his foot on the gas, flirted with 59 and easily won the Shriners Children’s Open on Sunday at TPC Summerlin. Here’s how it all unfolded in Las Vegas:
Leaderboard: Sungjae Im (-24), Matthew Wolff (-20), Rory Sabbatini (-19), Marc Leishman (-19), Adam Schenk (-19)
How it happened: Im began the final round three shots back of 54-hole leader Adam Schenk, but as Schenk failed to do much after birdieing his opening hole, Im charged quickly with birdies on four of his first seven holes. As fast as Im took the lead, he then pulled away even quicker with five straight birdies beginning at No. 9. At that point, he led comfortably, by five shots, and was on pace for a sub-60 score. (Sabbatini also was on 59 watch, firing a 7-under 28 on the front before shooting 64.) Im cooled off, settling for a 9-under 62, but it was still a stress-free wait as he watched the groups behind him finish up.
What it means: Im not only wins for the second time on the PGA Tour – and first since the 2019 Honda Classic – but he also makes it three straight years with a worldwide victory. Funny enough, his first Tour win came in his 50th start while this one marked his 100th start. He didn’t have the best finish to last season, with just two top-10s from late March on, but he did make it to East Lake. He was T-31 in his season debut last week at Sanderson Farms, which marked his first event in four weeks; it was the first time that he’d taken as many weeks off (excluding at the end of the year) since early 2018, when he was on the Korn Ferry Tour. Perhaps the rare break was what he needed? "I was on a really good roll and I was feeling great about my game after the Honda win," Im said. "After the pandemic, when golf was resumed, I really tried to find that rhythm again and there were times that was not easy. But, again, try to stay composed and believe in my game."
Round of the day: Im was dialed in all day, missing just one green in regulation and totaling more than 115 feet on just 26 putts. He made four putts longer than 10 feet, including a 30-foot birdie bomb at the opening hole to set the tone for the day. He also had a 22-footer for birdie that dropped to begin the back nine and rolled in a couple of 8-footers at Nos. 11 and 12 to take control of this tournament.
Shot of the day: Im's wedge shot that nearly spun back for an eagle at No. 12.
Winning quote: "It was very tough to get my first win but I felt like the second one was harder and harder, but I kept my patience. I tried to stay composed throughout the period and I'm glad it came." – Im