PGA Tour Record: Sungjae Im May Have Become Part of Golf’s History, but a 3-Year-Long Curse Still Haunts South Korean

Published 01/07/2024, 8:52 PM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

The hype in the golf world reached its peak a little while back. The 2024 Sentry saw Chris Kirk emerge victorious at the same, all the while managing to mark his name in the annals of history. However, he wasn’t alone in doing so, as another fellow professional managed to make a record on the greens, none other than Sungjae Im.

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The South Korean pro became the golfer with the most number of birdies in a 72-hole tournament on the men’s circuit. But even so, the 25-year-old couldn’t shake off the misfortune that came to be stuck on his back as he finished T5 at the Sentry, four strokes short of a victory!

Lady Misfortune shines on Sungjae Im

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The pro managed to score “three straight birdies” from holes No. 12 to 14, bringing his total number of birdies this week to 32. This led him to become the athlete with the most number of birdies scored in a single PGA Tour event since 1983. But, did he stop there? No, since he went ahead to card two more of the same on No.15 and No.18 pushing his score to 10-under 63 and his birdie count to 34 on Sunday, taking home a cut of $690,500 and 250 FedEx Cup points.

But even so, lady luck seems to shy away from the golfer, as he couldn’t manage his third win even after three years. His last victory came at the 2021 Shriners Children’s Open, where he scored 260 (-24) to beat Matthew Wolff.

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Nevertheless, he managed to beat the likes of Jon Rahm, Paul Gow, and Mark Calcavecchia, who shared the record of 32 birdies in a single event until Im’s grand entry to the same. The golfers’s feats came at the 2003 Sentry Tournament of Champions, the 2001 B.C. Open, and the 2001 WM Phoenix Open, respectively.

Well, such a feat surrounding birdies does not seem to be anything new for the South Korean golfer. He had managed to rake in a lot of accolades over the years, even in his amateur golfing days.

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Sungjae Im, the birdie machine

In his rookie year on the PGA Tour, Im was able to garner a total of 480 birdies that particular season, the most by any golfer in 2019. Moreover, he managed to retain the position for the next two years, with 498 coming off in 2021, the most by any golfer, which was previously held by Steve Felsch in 2000 at 493.

The Sentry 2024: What’s in Sungjae Im’s Bag?

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The 25-year-old was able to finish each season at a 35 on average when it came to scoring the kind of shot. Nevertheless, despite the consistency that the athlete boasts on the greens, enabling him to reach just shy of the figure, he was unable to make it to the top of the leaderboard yet again. Hope the future holds something better for the world No.27!

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Written by:

Allan Abe

915Articles

One take at a time

My search for happiness eventually led me, Allan Abe, to the hallways of ES after dabbling in different fields. Following my childhood passion for the sport and coupling it with my passion for writing, the role of a golf writer was the perfect career path and has been more than a fruitful one. Through the live coverage and in-depth analysis of the lives of big stars like Tiger Woods and Jon Rahm, I have put to use all my journalistic-accolade-winning experience, from state-wide events to college competitions, to give the reader a great story with every piece.
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