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Im Sung-jae charges into contention in WM Phoenix Open

Korea’s Im Sung-jae brilliantly birdied six of his opening eight holes to surge into contention at the $20 million WM Phoenix Open on Friday when the second round was suspended due to darkness.

The 24-year-old Im, chasing a third PGA Tour win, chipped in for birdie from 63 feet on the par-4 10th hole before making five more gains including a 34-footer at the famous par-3 16th at TPC Scottsdale’s Stadium Course to sit on 6-under through 12 holes. Play was suspended due to darkness with the entire afternoon wave unable to compete their second rounds.

Im’s 7-under total left him in tied-fourth place and three shots behind clubhouse leader and defending champion Scottie Scheffler, who fired a superb 64 to reach the halfway mark at 10-under 132. The world no. 2 holds a two-shot lead over in-form Spaniard Jon Rahm (66) and Adam Hadwin of Canada, who was 3-under with eight holes remaining.

Im is looking to return to winning ways after he last lifted the Shriners Children’s Open in October 2021. This season, he finished top-10 twice including a T4 at the Farmers Insurance Open two weeks ago and holds a best finish of tied seventh in Phoenix in 2019.

Countryman Kim Joo-hyung was another impressive performer of the day as he registered a superb 66 to move up to T11 on 137. He was two-over par through his first four holes on Thursday but has since produced some sublime golf to move up the leaderboard. 슬롯사이트

Starting the day from the 10th tee, the 20-year-old rising star birdied Hole Nos. 11, 15, 1, 2, 7 and 9 to offset a sole blemish on the par-5 3rd hole and kept his hopes alive of winning a third PGA Tour title. Kim’s highlight was a monstrous birdie putt from 43-feet at No. One.

“It was really cold in the morning. Greens were firm. Just freezing out there. But I feel like I managed it well. Finished even par with especially the way I was playing, even with the second round, just not feeling a hundred percent over the ball, “ said Kim, who became the first golfer since Tiger Woods in 1996 to win twice on the PGA Tour before turning 21.

“But I feel like on the back nine I really found something that kind of clicked well. Nice to always finish with a birdie.”

Another Korean Kim Si-woo, who was victorious at the Sony Open in Hawaii last month, sits T38 on 141 following a 69 and was joined by Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, a two-time winner at WM Phoenix Open, who was 4-under with five holes to finish on Saturday morning.

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