Sungjae Im carded five straight birdies on holes 9-13 to shoot 62 on Sunday and win the Shriners Children's Open by four strokes over Matthew Wolff, who was tipped in this column last week. The 23-year-old Im won his first PGA Tour event in his 50th start (Honda Classic) and won his second at the Shriners in his 100th start at 33-1. Im will be part of a 78-player limited field this week in the CJ Cup at a price of 30-1.
The CJ Cup's $9.75 million prize fund, plus a trip to Las Vegas, has enticed an elite field. Dustin Johnson, two-time CJ Cup champion Justin Thomas, and 2020 CJ Cup runner-up Xander Schauffele return to competition for the first time since being part of the victorious USA Ryder Cup team three weeks ago and share the favorite role at 12-1. Collin Morikawa (17-1), also on that team, is a member of the Summit Club, which hosts this week's event. Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy follow on the board at 22-1. In all, 24 of the top 30 players in the OWGR (Official World Golf Ranking) are playing this week, including defending champion Jason Kokrak (50-1), who won it at Shadow Creek.
The CJ Cup began in 2017 and had been annually held at Nine Bridges Golf Club in Jeju Island, South Korea, but last year was moved to Shadow Creek Golf Course in Las Vegas because of COVID-19. The field consists of only 78 players and is a no-cut event. The players in the field are based on the following criteria:
— Top 60 available players from the previous season's final FedEx Cup standings
— Winners of the KPGA Championship and Genesis Championship on the Korean Tour
— Top 3 available players from the Korean Tour order of merit
— Top available player from the Asian Tour order of merit
— Top available Korean player from the Asian Tour order of merit
— Top next 3 available Korean players from the Official World Golf Ranking
— 8 sponsor exemptions:
• 5 restricted to PGA Tour members
• 1 to the winner of a Korean amateur qualifier
• 2 unrestricted