2022 Hero World Challenge: Top 10 Power Rankings at Albany

Hero World Challenge, Albany, Bahamas,Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Hero World Challenge, Albany, Bahamas,Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /
2 of 10
Hero World Challenge, Albany, PGA Tour, Tiger Woods
Sungjae Im, 2022 Presidents Cup, Quail Hollow, Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports /

It’s hard to believe this is Sungjae Im’s Hero World Challenge debut.

He’s been a top-20 to 30 player in the world over the last three years.

However with no event in 2020 and Im just narrowly missing out on an invite last year, here we are.

He’s far from the only one debuting at Albany this week, nor has being a course newcomer deterred him in the past.

The 24-year-old South Korean brings solid form to the Bahamas. In three starts in the 2022-23 PGA Tour season, Im’s posted solo seventh in his title defense at the Shriners Children’s Open, T-29th at the ZOZO Championship, and T-34th at the CJ Cup.

He also was a bright spot on a losing International team at the Presidents Cup with a 2-2-1 record that wasn’t fully indicative of how he performed. Im and Tom Kim could be a pairing for years to come.

Despite no wins since the 2021 Shriners, Im’s still playing incredibly well. He finished sixth on the PGA Tour last season in total strokes gained per round (1.668).

Im was top-45 in all categories, including eighth off the tee (.651) and 12th around the green (.383).

His iron play continues to improve. Im was 94th in SG approach (.075) in 2018-19, 88th (.106) in 2019-20, 65th (.237) in 2020-21, and 45th (.308) last season.

If he approaches the .4 mark, it could be a monster 2023.

One area Im can improve on is playing out of the thick stuff. He was 115th last season in approach proximity from the rough (46’5”).

That’s not a big factor at the Hero this week. I expect Im to be dialed in and hungry for a win.