Sungjae Im Wins Maiden PGA Tour Title At Honda Classic

The 21-year-old Korean shot four under in the final round to win by one at PGA National

Sungjae Im Wins Maiden PGA Tour Title At Honda Classic
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The 21-year-old Korean shot four under in the final round to win by one at PGA National

Sungjae Im Wins Honda Classic

Sungjae Im birdied both par-3s in the Bear Trap as he won his maiden PGA Tour title at the Honda Classic.

The 21-year-old shot a closing round of 66, four under par, to reach six under and beat playing partner Mackenzie Hughes by one.

Im was Korn Ferry Tour Rookie of the Year in 2018 at the age of 20, the youngest winner of that title in history, and then won the PGA's Tour Rookie of the Year accolade in 2019.

The Korean looks to one of the best young talents in the mens game and is now up to a career-high 25th in the world.

It is his fourth professional victory after two wins on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2018 and a win on the Korean Tour late last year.

He also had a successful Presidents Cup debut in December, winning 3.5 points from five matches to be the joint-highest scorer on the Internationals team.

Im began the day three behind Tommy Fleetwood but four birdies in his opening five holes quickly took him closer to the top of the leaderboard.

He dropped a shot at the 7th, which he got back at the 11th, before two unsettling back-to-back bogeys on 12 and 13.

The way he responded was superb, hitting a 5 iron to 8ft on the treacherous 178 yard par-3 15th on the first hole of the infamous Bear Trap.

Anything right of the green is wet but Im took on the pin, which was tight to the water, to make a stunning birdie.

Watch: Im's birdie on 15 -

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He then found a bunker off the tee on 16 and had to hit a 5 iron over water, which he executed to perfection.

That came before another birdie to close out the Bear Trap where he flighted down a 7 iron to 6ft and converted, made more impressive after his playing partner Mackenzie Hughes holed from 54ft to tie him at five under.

Watch: Im's birdie on 17 -

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That birdie putt went in dead centre to reach six under and he parred the last for victory, after chunking a wedge shot and then stiffing his follow-up bunker shot.

Related: Sungjae Im What's in the bag?

Tommy Fleetwood finished at four under, one behind Hughes and two back of Im, after bogeying the 18th for a round of 71 (+1).

The Englishman birdied the par-3 17th to give himself a great chance of making a playoff but his fairway wood approach into the par-5 last sliced into the water.

The wait for a first PGA Tour title goes on for Tommy, but so does his phenomenal streak of golf that has seen him make every single cut since the Open Championship in July 2018.

It was a great week for Lee Westwood too, with the Englishman finishing one back of Fleetwood in T4th.

Westwood is currently 28th in the world, which is his highest ranking since June 2015.

Honda Classic Leaderboard:

1 Sungjae Im -6

2 Mackenzie Hughes -5

3 Tommy Fleetwood -4

4 Ben An -3

4 Daniel Berger -3

4 Lee Westwood -3

4 Brendan Steele -3

8 Gary Woodland -2

8 Cameron Davis -2

8 Russell Henley -2

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Elliott Heath
Senior Staff Writer

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x