Justin Suh was part of the very impressive Class of 2019, which yielded such superstars as the reigning FedExCup champion Viktor Hovland and two-time major champ Collin Morikawa.The anticipation for Suh to make his PGA TOUR debut was right up there, too. But golf is a tough game with no guarantees for success. There were some injuries. And the results took a little longer to come for Suh.
But after earning Korn Ferry Tour Player of the Year honors a year ago, Suh’s 2022-2023 campaign on the PGA TOUR could get an impressive exclamation point – he holds a 54-hole lead for the first time on TOUR and will head into Sunday at the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP up by one.
Suh’s Korn Ferry Tour season a year ago ended with an emphatic victory at the Korn Ferry Tour Championship presented by United Leasing & Finance – one of 10 top-10 finishes on the season.
And he said he’ll lean into some of that success as he tries to win for the first time on the PGA TOUR Sunday.
“I think the experience of the Korn Ferry Tour was huge and I think throughout this year I’ve put myself in this position a few times in some big tournaments,” Suh said. “Every week you put yourself in this position you learn a little more.”
Suh shot a 3-under 67 Saturday at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club, opening the day three birdies in his first eight holes. He was even par on the back nine – the highlight of the day came on the par-3 16th after he slid in a near 40-foot birdie – but his steady-enough round has left him in a place on the leaderboard he’s not yet familiar with on TOUR.
“Very satisfied,” Suh said of his third-round effort. “I think overall throughout the day we just tried to find fairways, greens. Obviously in the beginning I missed a few greens, but I was on the correct side. And I thought making those critical up-and-downs was huge in the beginning.”
Suh will be in the final group Sunday with rookie Eric Cole and Beau Hossler. Cole and Hossler sit at 8 under, while Morikawa is right there looking to play spoiler. He’s at 7 under – after birdieing five of his final six holes Saturday – and is hunting for his sixth PGA TOUR victory.
“A lot of times, everyone’s so good out here, it seems like you have to play perfect. Most of the time, in my experience, if you just stick to your game and play solid, you’ll have at least a chance,” Cole said of his gameplan for Sunday.
He, Suh and Hossler are all looking for their first PGA TOUR win.
Suh has had a solid, if unspectacular, 2022-23 campaign. He’s missed just five cuts in the 32 events he’s played but has just two top-10 finishes. Suh finished tied for fifth at The Honda Classic and then two weeks later broke through for a very impressive T6 at THE PLAYERS Championship.
He hasn’t had a top-20 finish on TOUR since May, but Suh plans to keep it simple Sunday to try to take this one across the finish line.
“Just a shot at a time. I think that’s the most important,” Suh said. “Just kind of be aware of myself, aware of the conditions. I think that’s all you can do.”
At PGA National earlier in the year Suh admitted seeing the immediate success of the impressive Class of 2019 group never got to him. He just kept his head down and tried to keep working on his game.
“Obviously they had immediate success, and it was cool watching them play so great. But for me, I knew I needed to improve,” Suh said. “Everyone is on a different path, and I think […] all I’m focused on is just improving on a daily basis. That’s kind of all I’m focused on.”
Paths in life – and especially in golf – rarely go in a straight line. But Suh is just one good round away from reaching a big-time destination – the winner’s circle on the PGA TOUR.
Source : PGA Tour