Golfer Im Sung-jaw holds a trophy after winning Woori Financial Group Championship in Korea on May 14. Photo courtesy of Korea Professional Golfers’ Association.

Top Asian golfer claims second KPGA title

South Korea’s Im Sung-jae won the 2023 Woori Financial Group Championship on May 14 to earn more than $220,000 in prize money at Ferrum Club east of Seoul.

Im flew into Seoul last week to play in the Korean match against an army of Korea Professional Golfers’ Association (KPGA) players, including reigning champion Chang Hee-min.

In the last round, he made two bogeys. But his performance was good enough to win the tourney as he finished at four-under-par of 68 with an eagle and four birdies.

His final score was 10-under-par of 278.

In particular, the 25-year-old was outstanding in the final games _ he earned an eagle on the 12th hole and made birdies on the 13th and 18th holes.

“In the morning, things were not so good. After wrapping up half of today’s round, I was not a leader, but the gap with the leader was not so big. Hence, I focused more,” he said.

“I think that the 12th hole was most significant as I carded an eagle, which I think resulted in my victory.”

Im is the highest-ranking Asian golfer in the world. He ranked at No. 18 on the official world golf ranking.

The last KPGA game where he played was the Genesis Championship in Oct. 2019. Back then, he won the tourney, getting his only KPGA trophy before doubling it this week.

The player is scheduled to return to the United States early next week.

Reigning champion Chang struggled as he tied for 27th.