Posted on

South Korean men’s golf’s “Big Three” – Im Sung-jae, Kim Joo-hyung and Kim Siwoo – have advanced to the Tour Championship, the final stage of the season for the 30 best players on the United States Professional Golf (PGA) Tour. It’s the fifth consecutive year for Im, and the first for Kim. Kim is returning after a seven-year absence. It’s the first time three South Koreans have competed.

Im Sung-jae shot a 4-under 66 in the final round of the BMW Championship ($20 million purse), the second round of the 2022-2023 PGA Tour FedExCup Playoffs (PO), at Olympia Fields CC (par 70-7366) in Olympia Fields, Illinois, U.S.A., on Monday for a 10-under 270 total, seven strokes behind world No. 5 Viktor Hovland (17-under 263, Norway), who used a course record (9-under 61) on the day to win his fifth career title.

With his second straight top-10 finish, following a tie for sixth at the FedEx St. Jude Championship in the first round of the POs last week, Im improved his FedExCup ranking to No. 17 (from No. 28 last week). The rookie became the first South Korean to play in three consecutive Tour Championships since 2019, adding a ‘+2’ to his record.

Kim Joo-hyung also improved by seven strokes on the day, including back-to-back birdies on the last four holes, to finish in a tie for 10th place (7-under 273), up 20 spots from the previous day. Kim, who was stopped in the second round of the POs last year in his rookie season, is the highest-ranked South Korean player in the FedExCup at No. 16 (No. 18 last week), fulfilling a dream of making his first Tour Championship.

Kim Si-woo finished the BMW Championship tied for 31st (even-par 280) and is ranked 20th in the FedExCup standings (17th last week), earning a spot in the Tour Championship for the first time in seven years since 2016. Byung-hun Ahn finished 44th in the FedExCup standings but had a successful comeback season on the PGA Tour.

The “Big Three” will now take on one last challenge with an $18 million ($24.1 billion) winner’s bonus on the line. The Tour Championship is the final stop on the FedExCup leaderboard for players ranked 1-30, with scores of 10-under-par to even-par.

World No. 1 Scottie Shaffler (USA), who finished tied for second at the BMW Championship, leads the FedExCup at 10-under-par, followed by the day’s winner, Hovlan, at 8-under-par in 스포츠토토 second. Third-ranked Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland) is at 7-under and fourth-ranked John Rahm (Spain), who dropped from the lead to fourth, is at 6-under.

Lim Sung-jae, Kim Joo-hyung and Kim Si-woo are 2-under par for 16th through 20th. They start eight shots off the lead, but with McIlroy’s six-stroke victory over Schaeffler last year and Im’s runner-up finish after coming back from a six-stroke deficit, there’s plenty of potential for upsets.

Lim is confident at Eastlake GC in Georgia. “My driver and iron shots were both good this week. I finished second last year, so I have high hopes for this year,” he said. Rookie Kim Joo-hyung is on the rise, while Kim Si-woo is also expected to be a force to be reckoned with.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *