AUTHOR

OBGOLF

03 April 2020

The 2020 Young Guns

Sungjae Im 21 years old The Honda Classic

After winning the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, Korea’s Sungjae Im has stepped up another level. The 21-year-old grabbed victory at the Honda Classic. While he may seem young, it’s been a long couple of years participating in 50 events over the 2018- 19 seasons, playing more golf than anyone on the PGA Tour within that time period.

Not owning or renting a home in the United States, Im has spent the time living in hotels to pursue his professional career. Im, who was born to golf-crazed parents on South Korea’s Jeju Island, finally enjoyed the results of his hard work at the Honda Classic. He won by one shot over Mackenzie Hughes and two over Tommy Fleetwood for his first victory in the US$7,000,000 event.

Im took a moment to reflect on what the win means, not just for himself, but also for his homeland and for those dealing with the virus that is spreading globally. Over in Korea right now, I know a lot of people are dealing with the coronavirus," Im said. I'm just glad as a Korean player that I can deliver some good news to the countrymen back home... to do something for the country and make everybody proud."

Viktor Hovland 22 years old Puerto Rico Open

Victor Hovland flies Norway’s flag higher on the world golf map. The 22-year-old former Oklahoma State star has made his name on PGA Tour winning list after compiling 20-under (268) at the Puerto Rico Open for a one-stroke victory over Josh Teater.

Hovland, who turned pro after the US Open June last year, found success at the 2019 Masters by winning the Silver Cup for the lowest-scoring amateur. He engraved another achievement at Grand Reserve Country Club, Rio Grande, by becoming the first Norwegian winner in PGA Tour history.

The only or the first person to play out here was Henry Bjornstad,” Hovland said, as quoted by AP. I grew up kind of watching him play or following the scores online. So to kind of follow his footsteps and be able to win kind of the first tournament for Norway is really special.”

Collin Morikawa 23 years old Barracuda Championship (2019)

Along with Matthew Golf (21 years old) and Joaquin Niemann (21 years old), Collin Morikawa is a member of the young gun generation who won their first title on the PGA Tour last year. Before winning the Barracuda Championship, Morikawa already made his mark in PGA Tour tournaments by finishing T2 at the 3M Open and 4th in the John Deere Classic.

This season, 23-year-old Morikawa continues to shine by making 22 straight cuts (up to the Arnold Palmer Invitational). With this record, Morikawa takes the No. 1 spot on the Tour s consecutive cuts list.

A little bit,” Morikawa remarked when asked if he was surprised. It s not easy out here, and every week you ve got to go in, be prepped, you can t let up. These courses will bite back.” 

Rasmus Højgaard 19 years old Afrasia Bank Mauritius Open (2019 European Tour) 

Winning the Mauritius Open, Rasmus Højgaard becomes the third-youngest winner in European Tour history at the age of 18 years and 271 days. The Danish player also creates history as the first player born in the 21st century to become a European Tour winner after just five events. The victory makes him the fastest Dane to a Tour win, beating 15-time winner and 2018 Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn’s record of 24 events.

"This is a dream come true," he told europeantour.com. "It's amazing. To be on the European Tour so early is a dream come true and to be a winner now, it's incredible. I can't put it into words. I'm looking forward to the next challenge." 

Min Woo Lee 21 years old ISPS Handa Vic Open (European Tour) 

The 21-year-old player, Min Woo Lee, has become Australia s new golf superstar after claiming the ISPS Handa Vic Open in February. Lee followed in his sister's footsteps by winning the Vic Open, earning a two-year European Tour exemption in the process. Lee s sister is Minjee Lee who is a two-time winner of the concurrent women s event held at the 13th Beach Golf Links and World No. 8 in the women’s rankings.

"My sister and I winning the same tournament, it's pretty special," Lee, who was the former US Junior Amateur champion, exclaimed. "I've got bragging rights now so it's even better. It's awesome. Vic Open, it's the home open. Especially as it's the European Tour, it's big."

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