PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Sungjae Im is tireless and no longer winless.
A 21-year-old South Korean, I started quickly and ended up stronger on Sunday, winning the Honda Classic with one shot over Mackenzie Hughes and Tommy Fleetwood for his first career PGA Tour victory in his 50th attempt .
Im shot four-under 66 on Sunday and finished at six o'clock to get the second highest score since the Honda moved to PGA National in 2007. He was the rookie of the tour of the year last year, and has played more tournaments and more rounds than anyone else since the 2018-19 season.
Im birdied four of his first five holes, then birdied two of the last four to complete the win and raise $ 1.26 million.
Hughes, a Canadian who made the cut on Friday, shot his second consecutive 66. He played alongside Im and was part of a serious f firework on the last two holes and missed a birdie-putt in the par 5 finish hole that would have brought him to an equal position.
Fleetwood, still looking for his first PGA Tour victory, started Sunday shot one off the field and started with back-to-back birdies to fall to seven at that time – corresponding to the low score compared to par of the week.
Then PGA National did what most of the time, that nobody is walked through the peloton.
Fleetwood made bogey on the par-4 sixth and could not come up and down from a greenside bunker on the par-4 eighth, to give back what was left of his lead and the top spot on shared five with Im and Brendan Steele.
Shortly after Im finished, Fleetwood made a 25-footer for birdie on the par-3 17 to fall to five. But Fleetwood & # 39; s second on the par-5 finish hole leaked right and splashed into the water, and when his attempt at a miracle hole did not fall after a fall of 120 yards, I could eventually exhale as the winner.
I embraced his caddy in the dressing room, where he looked at a monitor for the last 20 minutes.
"I have been here many times," I said through a translator, "I just felt that the experience really helped."
Some of Im's best moments have come when no one has looked.
He finished third in the Zozo championship in Japan in October, a finish overshadowed by Tiger Woods who tied the PGA Tour record of 82 career victories. And in November Im went 3-1-1 to tie for the best show of a player from the International team at the Presidential Cup, but the American team led by Woods collected singles on the last day to win the trophy .
But this time Im was on stage and embraced the moment.
Hughes and Im went to the par-3 17th green – the end of the "Bear Trap" three-hole stretch – in wildly different places. I hit his tee-ball to just within 8 feet, while Hughes had almost 55 feet left from above the hole.
Hughes rolled into his most unlikely bird to a huge roar and drew a tie with Im at five o'clock.
If I was worried, I couldn't see it.
He looked at his downhill line a few times, took his putter back just a few centimeters, and watched the ball roll in for a little bird that allowed him to regain his lead at six under – this time for good .