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Im Sung-jae wins first PGA Tour win at Honda Classic

Posted March. 03, 2020 07:52,   

Updated March. 03, 2020 07:52


“Many South Koreans are having a hard time for COVID-19. I am happy to deliver the news that all Koreans can be proud of,” said Im Sung-jae, who won his first PGA Tour championship on his 50th start. His fans were thrilled at his come-from-behind victory on such a tough course, likening Im’s achievement to Pak Se-ri, who instilled a sense of confidence into South Koreans to overcome the Asian foreign reserve crisis with her barefoot recovery shot during the U.S. Women’s Open in 1998.

The 21-year-old South Korean golfer won his first PGA championship title on Sunday local time at Honda Classic with a four-round total of six-under 274, which was finalized at the PGA National Champion Course in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Im had participated in a staggering 35 tournaments last season, which gave him the nickname “iron man” and made him the first Asian golfer to win the rookie’s award, and he has finally found himself crowned at the Honda Classic. He became the seventh South Korean to win PGA Tour, following Choi Kyung-ju, Yang Yong-eun, Bae Sang-moon, Noh Seung-yeol, Kim Si-woo, and Kang Seong-hoon.

In the final round, Im birdied five among his 11 holes to jump from fifth to first in ranking until the 11th hole, but sank back to fourth with two bogeys on the 12th and 13th holes. But he managed to take the lead again by clutching two-meter birdies on the notorious 15th and 17th holes.

Yun-Cheol Jeong trigger@donga.com