Save for a missed cut last year, the Honda Classic has treated Sungjae Im fairly well. PGA National was the site of his first career PGA Tour win at the ripe age of 21.
The South Korean star recorded 72-66-70-66 in brutal conditions to outlast Mackenzie Hughes by a shot in 2020. His 6-under total tied for the highest winning score since 2007.
The defending champ was back again in 2021, carding 68-68-69-70. It was only one shot higher than the previous year, but a more benign setting left him seven shots off Matt Jones’ winning pace.
Some players skip the Honda Classic because it’s difficult. There are more prestigious events down the pike, too. Neither of those things are keeping Sungjae away.
"“I personally like the challenges on the PGA TOUR, especially for the Florida Swing,” Im was transcribed in 2021 by ASAP Sports. “The greens are firm. There’s a lot of water. I know all the players will be struggling, including myself, but I try to have fun playing through the challenges. I tend to play well overall when the courses are more challenging.”"
Im also made the cut in his tournament debut in 2019 with T-51st.
He’s coming off T-56th last week at the Genesis Invitational. It was his fourth made cut in a row, though it snapped a streak of three straight top-20s.
The 24-year-old ranks in the top 60 in every per-round strokes gained category. Im is 18th tee to green (1.093) and 14th total (1.378).
His weakness is putting, but I see him rolling in enough putts on PGA National’s not-overly-menacing greens.