Ian Poulter returns to world’s top 100 after second at Players Championship
In this Associated Press photo, Kim Si-woo of South Korea celebrates after winning The Players Championship at TPC at Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, on May 14, 2017.
Kim carded a final round of 69 at Sawgrass to finish 10 under par, three shots ahead of Ian Poulter and former Open champion Louis Oosthuizen.
But Si Woo Kim’s golf game in the final round of The Players Championship on Sunday was a performance beyond his years and one for the ages.
He earned $1.89 million, along with a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour, a three-year exemption to the Masters, U.S. Open and British Open, and most likely a spot on the Presidents Cup team later this summer.
After holing from 50 feet for an eagle on the par-five second, Johnson dropped shots at the fourth and seventh before a birdie on the ninth took him to the turn in 35.
Ian Poulter is looking forward to getting back to the revamped Wentworth when he tees it up in next week’s BMW PGA Championship.
Kim said he drew inspiration from Choi, who still leads all South Korean players with eight career PGA Tour victories.
“I think it was hard to kind of get it close, and obviously, the opportunities on the back nine were 11 – I hit a decent shot into 10 and had a decent look there, but took advantage of 11”, Poulter explained.
The previous youngest champion of The Players was Adam Scott, who was 23 when he won in 2005. Kim’s 3-under 69 wasn’t the best score of the day, but his composure at such a young age garnered praise from his peers.
“I’ve been striking the ball really well for about two or three weeks”, Kim said.
All that could stop him was the final two holes, when Kim had a two-shot lead and faced a tee shot to an island green, and then a closing hole with water all the way down the left side.
Elsewhere at Sawgrass on Sunday there was drama as Rafa Cabrera Bello scored a rare albatross.
Holmes shot 40 on the front nine and still had hope until bogeys on the 14th and 15th holes. His tour card is safe for another year.
Stanley, the second- and third-round co-leader, birdied the 17th in the final round and became the first player in tournament history to make a 2 on the par-3 all four days.
Capping off the week with the grand victory at The Players provides Kim with another privilege – the strong possibility of joining the worldwide team at this year’s Presidents Cup in September.
The smart money, if an global player overtook American co-leaders J.B. Holmes and Kyle Stanley, was on veterans such as Poulter, Oosthuizen, Adam Scott (the previous youngest victor, at 23 in 2004) or Masters champion Sergio Garcia.