Golf-After maiden win on 50th PGA start, Im bags second on 100th

The 148th Open Championship
FILE PHOTO: Golf - The 148th Open Championship - Royal Portrush Golf Club, Portrush, Northern Ireland - July 19, 2019 South Korea's Im Sung-jae on the 11th hole during the second round REUTERS/Paul Childs

October 12, 2021

(Reuters) – South Korea’s Im Sung-jae said winning the Shriners Children’s Open in Las Vegas on Sunday was a “gift from above” as he marked his 100th start in the PGA Tour with his second title, after claiming his maiden crown on his 50th start last year.

The 23-year-old, nicknamed “Ironman Im”, carded a final round of nine-under 62 to seal a four-shot win over American Matthew Wolff as he went 24-under for the tournament at TPC Summerlin.

Im’s maiden triumph on the Tour was at The Honda Classic in March 2020 and he said his latest win was “very meaningful.”

“I know I won my first win on my 50th start and to win my second PGA Tour win on my 100th start, that in itself is a pretty amazing stat,” said Im, the second youngest winner of the event after 1996 champion Tiger Woods.

“It was hard coming, but I think today how everything went, I think it was a gift from above. I played so well and I’m glad I got the win. It was tough to win the first one and I thought the second would be harder.

“I just kept my patience and tried to keep my focus throughout the period.”

Im said he will turn his attention to this week’s CJ Cup, a PGA Tour event that is being played in Las Vegas for a second straight year after being moved out of South Korea due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I want to celebrate today’s win, so tonight and probably tomorrow I want to take a break. But starting Tuesday morning I want to prepare for the CJ Cup,” Im said.

“And most importantly I’m sponsored by CJ, so it’s an important tournament to me and I want to play well, I want to get ready.”

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru)