Sungjae Im shoots 68 at Masters Saturday, remains in contention for first major victory
Golf is quite literally Sungjae Im’s life. Without a base yet in the United States, he moves from hotel to hotel, wherever the tournament is each week.
He may have found a home in Augusta.
Through three rounds of this year’s Masters Tournament, Im is navigating Augusta National like a veteran, not like the rookie he is, as he signed for a 4-under-par 68 on Saturday and is in a three-way tie for second at 12-under 204.
“I watched the Masters growing up so many times that I feel like this course, I feel like I'm used to playing this course, even though this is my first time,” Im said. “I know the course kind of suits not only me but many of the Korean players, as well, so I think that's been why I've been able to maintain good scores.”
Because much of Im’s time is spent traveling, he believes that adds to his general course knowledge, which has helped him succeed here at Augusta National.
“In my opinion, from the tee box when I look down the fairway of each hole, what I see of the course management visually, I can see where to hit it and where not to hit it,” Im said. “I think that's why I feel comfortable playing here.”
Im had a near flawless round Saturday with five birdies and just one bogey, on 17.
Other than that, it was another solid round by Im, who has only seven bogeys through 54 holes.
Im said he remembers being a kid, staying up in South Korea and watching the Masters. Now that he’s living his dream, he wants to stay composed and make his fans back home happy, who he said, are most likely up, rooting him on.
He finished 22nd in the U.S. Open in September. On Sunday, Im hopes to significantly improve on that performance.
“I want to just stay composed, stick to my game plan, try to minimize as many mistakes as possible, and hopefully have a good finish,” Im said.