S. Korean Im Sung-jae posts 3rd straight top-10 finish as PGA Tour returns

June 15, 2020

Even after a long delay caused by the global coronavirus pandemic, some things don’t change in golf: Im Sung-jae playing at a PGA Tour event and Im finishing inside the top 10.

The South Korean star posted his third consecutive top-10 finish as the tour resumed with the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas, on Sunday (local time). Im shot a three-under 67 in the final round for a four-round total of 11-under 269 at Colonial Country Club. He tied three others, including world No. 4 Justin Thomas, for 10th place.

Im, the reigning Rookie of the Year, began his top-10 streak with his first-career victory at the Honda Classic on March 1. The very next week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Im finished alone in third.

The performance at Colonial was Im’s sixth top-10 finish of the season, which puts him in a three-way tie at the top with Thomas and world No. 1 Rory McIlroy for the 2019-2020 season.

Im also maintained his lead at the top of the FedEx Cup standings. The top 125 in FedEx Cup points at the end of the regular season in August will get into the three-tournament FedEx Cup playoffs. Those three events feature a progressive cut, meaning the field of 125 for the Northern Trust gets reduced to 70 for the BMW Championship and only the top 30 will be eligible for the season-ending Tour Championship.

Last season, Im was the only freshman to qualify for the Tour Championship, and he was later voted by his peers as the Rookie of the Year.

The Charles Schwab Challenge was the first PGA tournament in three months, and was played without fans and with strict quarantine measures in place.

The Players Championship was canceled after the opening round on March 12 due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak. Several other tournaments were canceled or rescheduled during the pandemic.

Im shot in the 60s in all four rounds. He opened Sunday with a birdie at the first hole and had another at No. 3. He dropped a shot with a bogey at the fifth but got it right back with his third birdie of the day at the sixth.

Im had a three-putt bogey at the par-five 11th but had birdies at the 12th and the 14th en route to a solid 67.

Im, a 22-year-old workhorse, has played in 15 out of 23 tournaments so far. He led all players last season with 35 starts, 26 cuts made and 118 rounds played.

Daniel Berger defeated Collin Morikawa on the first playoff hole to win the Charles Schwab Challenge.

Among other South Korean players, An Byeong-hun ended in a four-way tie for 60th at one-over 281. Kang Sung-hoon, Kim Si-woo and Lee Kyoung-hoon missed the cut.