TOP 30 PLAYERS TO WATCH
Top 30 Players to Watch in 2020: Sungjae Im
December 16, 2019
By Staff, PGATOUR.COM
- December 16, 2019
Shot of the Day
Sungjae Im's ace is the Shot of the Day
Sungjae Im was named the PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year last season; what does he do for an encore going into 2020? Im is among PGATOUR.COM’s top 30 players to watch entering 2020. Click here for more on all 30 players.
PGATOUR.COM’s Insiders offer their expert views on what to expect from Sungjae Im in 2020.
TOUR INSIDER by Cameron Morfit
Im plays a ton with 35 starts last season but might help himself with some well-timed breaks. Was named Rookie of the Year after seven top-10 and 16 top-25 finishes, but still switched caddies, which tells you how badly he wants to win. Started this season much the same, with second-place finish at the Sanderson Farms Championship and T3 at the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP. Hits it great from tee to green, but in first five starts this season was 212th (-.718) in Strokes Gained: Around the Green. Iron play could also improve as he was 94th in SG: Approach the Green last season. Will get more seasoning at Presidents Cup.
STATS INSIDER by Sean Martin
Last season, Im tied the ShotLink single-season record for hole-outs. Im had 25, three more than anyone else on TOUR in 2019. That included a hole-in-one on TPC Sawgrass’ 13th hole, which broke Phil Mickelson’s record for youngest player to make an ace in THE PLAYERS. Im’s 480 birdies in 2019 are the third-most on TOUR since 1980. His cumulative score of 181 under par last season was 33 strokes better than anyone else on TOUR.
FANTASY INSIDER by Rob Bolton
The Top 30 series isn't intended to predict anything, but the 2018-19 Rookie of the Year fulfilled my phrase in this space a year ago that he might touch 35 starts. Lo and behold, that's exactly how often he played. And didn't we love it! The 21-year-old is off to an even better start this season. He even worked in a victory on the Korean PGA Tour in October. Speaking of wins, if you're open for another easy prediction, his first on the PGA TOUR will occur sooner than later.
EQUIPMENT INSIDER by Andrew Tursky
The 2018-19 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year is a Titleist staffer who has a bag full of Titleist golf clubs, including new TS3 metalwoods, T100 irons, and a Scotty Cameron Phantom X6 STR putter. Im isn’t one to change equipment much, so expect this setup to remain fairly constant throughout 2020, unless Titleist comes out with new Vokey wedges, in which case he will likely change from his SM7 wedges into new models.
STYLE INSIDER by Greg Monteforte
Im takes a classic approach to his golf wardrobe and relies heavily on solids, graphic prints, and color-blocked designs. A New Year’s fashion resolution for Im is to trade the white belt for one that blends better with his outfits. At the same time, he should continue to rock those vintage rope hats.
BEYOND THE ROPES by Helen Ross
Im is the PGA TOUR’s ironman – he played 34 events last year. But the 21-year-old didn’t hurt for company on the road since his parents traveled with him, handling the hotel reservations and doing the laundry while also providing much-needed moral support.
Current 2019-20 position: 7th
Finish in 2018-19 season: 19th
Playoff appearances: 1
TOUR Championship appearances: 1
Best FedExCup result: Finished 19th in 2018-19 season as a PGA TOUR rookie.
2019-20 FALL RESULTS (FEDEXCUP POINTS)
A Military Tribute at the Greenbrier: T19 (43)
Sanderson Farms Championship: P2 (300)
Safeway Open: T49 (8.5)
THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES: T39 (15.5)
ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP: T3 (162.5)
WGC-HSBC Champions: T11 (69)
By The Numbers
Strokes Gained rankings for Sungjae Im in the 2018-19 season.