Korea’s Sungjae Im is gunning for a big year ahead as he begins the new 2024 PGA TOUR season at The Sentry at the Plantation course at Kapalua, Maui starting on Thursday.

The 25-year-old Im is amongst an elite 59-man field in the first of eight Signature tournaments of the year on the world-famous holiday isle and will be joined by compatriots Tom Kim, Si Woo Kim and Byeong Hun An. Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama completes the Asian contingent while world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler and reigning FedExCup champion Viktor Hovland are also amongst the headline acts this week.

“One of my goals is to have great finishes in the majors. I wish to have better results compared to past majors,” said Im on Tuesday.

A two-month off-season has been well spent at home in Korea where Im, whose best major finish was a runner-up outing at the 2020 Masters Tournament, revealed that he focused on increasing his swing speed with the aim of gaining additional distance from off the tee. He ended his 2023 season in 24th position on the FedExCup standings following nine top-10s and 10 other top-25s.

“With the change to a calendar year season, I think it is important to keep myself in good position during the first half of the year and to be comfortable later on. The biggest goal would be getting back to The TOUR Championship for a sixth straight year. It’ll be also nice to place myself in the top-10 at the majors and I will keep myself calm and be ready to do so,” he said.

“I had a great time back home. I spent quality time with family and friends. I tried to stay in tune with my game by continuing with my training. I tried to increase the swing speed of my driver but I didn’t change my swing or anything, and focused on increasing the speed during the winter.”

Another goal for Im in the New Year would be to return quickly to the PGA TOUR winner’s enclosure. He won in 2020 and 2021 before enduring a winless stretch. A trip back to the Plantation course this week, however, has given him good vibes once more following top finishes of T5/2021, T8/2022 and T13/2023.

“It is always nice to come back to Maui. This tournament has given me great memories in the past and I’m always confident here. With two top 10s and finishing 13th last year, I think I can expect something better if I’m in good shape until the end,” said Im, who is ranked 27th in the world.

He also has his eyes on the Paris Olympic Games in the summer and making his third International Team for the Presidents Cup in September. “If I get to join the International Team again, it will be my third Presidents Cup. I will try my best to help secure a win over Team USA. I’m proud of being part of the Presidents Cup.

The Sentry will offer a US$20 million prize fund, with US$3.6 million and 700 FedExCup points going to the winner on Sunday.

For the first time since 2012, the PGA TOUR returns to a calendar-year schedule with the 2024 FedExCup Regular Season beginning at The Sentry. The PGA TOUR’s Opening Drive at The Sentry and Sony Open in Hawaii, welcomes players looking to get off to a strong start in the race for the FedExCup.

This week’s elite field includes 34 PGA TOUR winners (including 12 first-timer winners) from the previous calendar year, including the FedExCup Fall winners, and the 25 players who qualified by finishing inside the top 50 in the final 2022-23 FedExCup standings.

Title sponsor, Sentry Insurance, has reaffirmed its commitment to the Maui community through financial contributions to Maui non-profits totaling more than US$2 million for direct fire relief following devastating fires in nearby Lahaina five months ago.

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