The Ironman of PGA Tour, Sung-jae Im, rode an opening eight-under-par 63 and a closing nine under par 62 in the Shriner Children’s Open in Las Vegas for the 23 year old South Korean’s second career victory on Tour.
His four-round total of 260, which tied him with Ryan Moore and Webb Simpson with the 72-hole record at the par 71 TPC Summerlin, was four shots better than runner-up Matthew Wolff and five ahead of a trio of third-place finishers, including third-round leader Adam Schenk.
In the final round, Im came out hot, and after five consecutive birdies ending on the par-five 13th hole put him at nine-under for the day, he was on 59 watch. He ended up making all pars coming in but still won comfortably, adding the Shriners to his win in the 2020 Honda Classic and notching his third career top 15 finish in the Shriners Children’s Open.
The Shriners Children’s Open is the first of a pair of consecutive Tour events held in Las Vegas, with the CJ Cup @ The Summit taking place later this week. Im, who traditionally leads the Tour in events played, earned $1,260,000 and 500 FedEx Cup points for the win, as well as extending his PGA Tour exempt status through the 2025 season.
Wolff’s second-place finish, which came following a disappointing three-under-par 68 after starting the day a shot out of the lead, continued a promising start to the 2022 wraparound season for the 22-year-old. He opened his season with a tie for 17th in last week’s Sanderson Farms Championship, shooting a 16 under par total of 272 despite falling off the pace when he failed to break 70 in the second round, managing only a one-under-par 71.
Coming into the tournament, Im was just outside the top ten in betting odds at +2500, paying out $2600 on a $100 wager. One of the favorites was Brooks Koepka at +1600, who struggled after entering the weekend at seven-under-par but eventually finished in a tie for 67th after shooting four-over-par 145 over the final two rounds.
Abraham Ancer was also at +1600 entering the week, but he didn’t manage to break par the first two rounds, going two over par and missing the five-under-par cut by seven strokes. Schenk looked like he had a great chance to pay off on +15000 odds and collect his first PGA Tour victory, but he could only manage a final round 70 and finished tied with Marc Leishman and Rory Sabbatini, who fired 63 and 64 respectively to move up the leaderboard.
Perhaps there was still somewhat of a Ryder Cup hangover, as three players from each of the recent United States and European teams were competing at TPC Summerlin. Viktor Hovland from Norway was the top finisher, tying for 44th after getting derailed by a third-round 73, and Koepka was the only other one to make the cut, with England’s Paul Casey coming the closest at three-under-par.