Sung-Jae Im (60), Lee McCoy share 54-hole lead at Web.com Tour Q-School final stage

Stan Badz/PGA Tour

Sung-Jae Im (60), Lee McCoy share 54-hole lead at Web.com Tour Q-School final stage

Professional

Sung-Jae Im (60), Lee McCoy share 54-hole lead at Web.com Tour Q-School final stage

Two new co-leaders emerged Saturday at the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School, as Sung-Jae Im and Lee McCoy moved to the top through 54 holes.

Im did it with a stunning blitz of red numbers, failing to make a par on his front nine at Whirlwind Golf Club’s Devil’s Claw layout as he birdied Nos. 1-3 and Nos. 5-9 with a lone bogey on that side at the fourth. A more mellow backside still produced a birdie-birdie-eagle stretch from Nos. 13-15 and a birdie at 17. He needed one more at the par-4 18th for a 59 but settled for a two-putt par and a 12-under 60.

McCoy couldn’t match that round but was no slouch himself Saturday in Chandler, Ariz., with a smooth, bogey-free 9-under 63 at Devil’s Claw to move to 21 under overall and into a share with Im.

The pair is three shots ahead of the field with one round to go, as Connor Arendell and Jose Toledo (the first-round leader and second-round co-leader) are tied for third at 18 under.

Im, 19, has mainly competed on Korean and Japanese circuits the last two years and made a leap in his play in 2017. In 30 starts this year, the Korean failed to win but posted a pair of runners-up as well as a pair of thirds and 11 total top 10s in jumping from No. 522 to No. 155 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

He also finished T-8 at second stage of Web.com Tour Q-School to advance to final stage.

McCoy, 23, actually won in his 2017 Mackenzie Tour debut but finished outside the coveted top five on the money list (he placed sixth). The former Georgia All-American, who famously finished fourth as an amateur at the 2016 Valspar Championship, currently has conditional status for the Web.com Tour in 2018.

A win at Q-School final stage would make a player fully exempt for the 2018 Web.com Tour season.

A finish between 2nd and 10th (and ties) at final stage earns a player fully exempt status for the first 12 events of 2018, while finishers 11-45 (and ties) are fully exempt for the first eight events. The remainder of the final stage field is granted conditional status for 2018.

Curtis Luck, the 2016 U.S. Amateur champion, fell from a share of the lead to a tie for fifth at 17 under with a third-round 4-under 68 at Devil’s Claw.

Wyndham Clark, the top-ranked player in college golf in 2016-17, fired a Saturday 65 at Devil’s Claw to move up five spots to a tie for seventh at 16 under.

The players are alternating between Whirlwind’s Devil’s Claw and the Cattail layouts this week.

Other notable scores after Round 3 include: Cameron Champ (T-14, 14 under), Sam Burns (T-14, 14 under), Maverick McNealy (T-22, 13 under), John Oda (T-47, 9 under), Rico Hoey (T-59, 8 under), Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (T-72, 7 under), Max Homa (T-72, 7 under), Cameron Davis (T-72, 7 under), Robby Shelton (T-97, 4 under), Sean Crocker (T-97, 4 under), Gunn Yang (T-106, 3 under), Jordan Niebrugge (T-111, 2 under), Kevin Hall (T-130, 2 over) and top-ranked amateur Joaquin Niemann (T-130, 2 over).

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