Golf: South Korea's Im Sung-jae claims first PGA Tour title with clutch play at Honda Classic

Im Sung-jae kisses the winner's trophy after the fourth round of The Honda Classic golf tournament on March 1, 2020. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

MIAMI (REUTERS/AFP) - Im Sung-jae hit a series of clutch shots down the stretch to clinch his first PGA Tour victory in style, a one-shot triumph at the Honda Classic in Florida on Sunday (March 1).

South Korean Im, last year's tour rookie of the year, broke through in his 50th start by carding four-under 66 at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens.

He birdied the par-three 15th and 17th holes and then made a solid par at the last to finish at six-under 274 on one of the hardest courses on tour.

Canadian Mackenzie Hughes (66) missed a lengthy birdie putt at the last and settled for second place.

Overnight leader Tommy Fleetwood needed birdie at the par-five 18th to force a playoff, but his hopes ended when he carved his second shot into the water.

"I've been in this spot many times and just gaining the experience throughout the weeks helped me stay in the moment," Im said through a translator. "I feel like the experience really helped, especially on the last few holes to pull out the win."

Fleetwood (71) was third on 276 and American Brendan Steele (71) shared fourth on 277 with England's Lee Westwood (70), American Daniel Berger (69) and South Korean An Byeong-hun (67).

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