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PGA rookie Im Sung-jae finishes in 2019 Tour Championship

PGA rookie Im Sung-jae finishes in 2019 Tour Championship

Posted August. 30, 2019 07:38,   

Updated August. 30, 2019 07:38


Im Sung-jae, a South Korean golfer who debuted in the PGA Tour this year, was the only rookie player to make it to the Tour Championship, a stage exclusively open to the top 30 rankers of the FedEx Cup points. Im, who has set foot on the stage that even Tiger Woods failed to, has finished the 2018-2019 season as 19th and is currently considered as one of the promising candidates for this year’s rookie award, which is voted for by players.

This season, the South Korean rookie golfer has competed in 35 tournaments. The 21-year-old has practically participated in almost every competition he was qualified for. “I’ve dreamed about PGA Tour since I was a kid, so all tournaments were so valuable for me. Getting new records for each participation and earning prize money each time was also a lot of fun,” said the freshman. “My parents and I toured around different hotels for different tournaments without getting our own house. The whole process was full of fun just like traveling,” said the tour rookie, who has passed 26 cuts and amassed a total of 28.51 million dollars in prize.

Web.com Tour is an international stage brimful with winners of PGA Tour tournaments. In January last year, his debut for Web.com Tours, Im lifted the trophy at the Bahama Classic. “Every shot went just as intended. I enjoyed the best of luck,” he said. Winning the second place in the following tournament, Im secured a berth for the PGA Tours in just two attempts.

The goal of his next season is to make an outstanding performance at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and enter the Tour Championship again. To that end, he must keep sharp his forte, the drivers and long irons, while bringing his A game for short game which is deemed as his weakness. “Drivers are more comfortable than woods for me. Distance is not my strongest suit, but I am confident with my precision,” he added. His average driver shot distance stood at 295.9 yards this season, jointly ranked in the 81st.

Heon-Jae Lee uni@donga.com