For the fifth consecutive year, Sungjae Lim has qualified for the final Tour Championship of the PGA Tour Playoffs.
The South Korean shot a 2-under 68 in the final round of the FedEx St. Jude Championship ($20 million), the first round of the PGA TOUR Playoffs, at TPC Southwind (par-70) in Memphis, Tennessee, on Thursday (July 14) to finish tied for sixth at 11-under 269.
While he didn’t pull off the upset he was hoping for, Lim improved his FedExCup ranking from No. 32 to No. 28 and kept his Tour Championship hopes alive.
The Tour Championship is open to players ranked in the top 30 of the FedExCup standings.
Playing in the Tour Championship is not only a symbolic sign of a successful season on the PGA Tour, but it also has many practical benefits, such as a generous playoff bonus and a guaranteed spot in an exclusive event the following year.
Lim was named to the Tour Championship field for four consecutive years from 2019 to last year, and he earned $5.75 million in bonus money for finishing runner-up to Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland) at last year’s Tour Championship.
The 30-man field for the Tour Championship will be determined by the FedExCup standings at the conclusion of the BMW Championship, the second round of the playoffs, which begins on Sept. 18.
Lim, who said qualifying for the Tour Championship was his biggest goal heading into the event, will be able to qualify for the Tour Championship for the fifth straight year if he finishes in the top 30 and does not finish lower in the BMW Championship.
Entering the final round in a tie for sixth place, five strokes behind leader Lucas Glover (USA), Lim had a somewhat disappointing final round.
He opened with back-to-back birdies at the second (par-4) and third (par-5) holes, but then went on a frustrating 15-hole par drought from the fourth to the 18th.
All six bogeys were saved by pars, but 10 of his 12 birdie putts left the hole.
Notably, he missed a 1-meter birdie putt on the 16th (par-5).
A lightning strike that halted play for about an hour may have dulled his putting touch.
Kim shaved two strokes off his score to finish in a tie for 16th place (9-under par 271). He moved from 18th to 17th in the FedExCup standings, putting him in position to qualify for the Tour Championship.
Joo Hyung Kim struggled with a 2-over-par 72. Bogeys on the fourth and fifth holes, as well as the seventh and ninth, hurt.
After finishing tied for 24th (7-under 273), Kim dropped from 14th to 18th in the FedExCup standings, but his path to the Tour Championship remains unhindered.
Byung-hoon Ahn, who also lost two strokes and finished tied for 37th (5-under 275), dropped one spot from 37th to 38th in the FedExCup standings. At the BMW Championship, the fight was on.
The 43-year-old Glover edged out world No. 4 Patrick Cantlay (USA) in a playoff.
Glover, who made a dramatic run into the playoffs by winning the Wyndham Championship at the end of the regular season, swept the first round of the playoffs to capture his second straight victory at the end of the season. Six career wins.
Glover, who jumped from 112th to 49th in the FedExCup standings after winning the Wyndham Championship, moved up to No. 4.
Glover, who entered the final round with a share of the lead, needed just one stroke to finish at 15-under 265, the same as Cantlay, who shot a 6-under 64.
The momentum seemed to be in Cantlay’s favor, but the match was cut short when Cantlay put his tee shot into a pond on the left side of the fairway.
Cantlay got to the green in three, but couldn’t make the 7-meter par putt.
Glover got his ball on the green in two and made an easy par to secure the win.
Cantlay had to settle for moving from 13th to fifth in the FedExCup standings.
McIlroy, who earned an $18 million playoff bonus for winning last year’s Tour Championship, shot a 5-under 65 to finish the first round in a three-way tie for third place (14-under 266) with Tommy Fleetwood (England).
McIlroy maintained his No. 3 spot in the FedExCup standings, while Fleetwood jumped from No. 26 to No. 10 to secure his spot in the Tour Championship. 안전놀이터
Yon Rahm (Spain), who finished the regular season atop the FedExCup standings, finished tied for 37th (5-under par 275) but retained the top spot.