dglobalnews.com Kim is Players Championship youngest winner
Published: Mon, May 15, 2017
Global Media | By Cecelia Webb

Kim is Players Championship youngest winner


The 21-year-old, whose given name is actually Kim Si-Woo, was born in Seoul, South Korea and is now the youngest member of the PGA Tour and also has the distinction of being the youngest man in history to graduate from the PGA Tour Qualifying School, finishing tied for 20th back in 2012 at just 17 years, five months and six days old (or young) at the time. But the steely-nerved South Korean held up in the biggest pressure moment of his career. The win was Kim's second on the PGA Tour and earned him a five-year exemption on the Tour.

He also managed to take all the drama out of the final round, rare for this tournament and this golf course.

Kim sank a 24-foot birdie putt at the par-4 seventh to seize the lead and sank an 18-foot birdie putt at the par-5 ninth to reach 10-under for a two-stroke advantage. Oosthuizen began the finale in solo 3rd, two back of 54-hole co-leaders J.B. Holmes and Kyle Stanley, and landed nine (of 14) fairways and just 10 greens in regulation, losing 1.629 strokes approaching-the-green.

Few saw Kim coming - including himself.

"Well it's just the way this golf course is", he said after posted 73 in the final round. He's endured more rough patches along the way.

Just over four years ago, Kim came to the United States to play the final version of the tour's qualifying school.

"I really wish I could be a good example of the Korean men's player", Kim said. "I think that really helped me to be stable". "That's why I could do well".

The 32-year-old has missed one cut in nine tournaments this season, although he was forced to withdraw from the Masters just minutes before his opening round due to a back injury suffered in a fall at his rented house in Augusta. Consecutive bogeys on the 13th and 14th holes ended his Oosthuizen's hopes for his first win on US soil and left Kim and Poulter to duke it out.

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"If you are on your game and playing well, that's the things you do", said Oosthuizen. "He was hitting most of the fairways and just putting it in position, and to win this tournament, you have to do that". From a playing perspective to be in this situation where I can play a schedule and enjoy some golf, some of my best golf has come out this week.

That allowed the former world number five to play at Sawgrass and the 41-year-old - who had slipped to 197th in the rankings - made the most of his reprieve. You just don't know what avenue it's going to take. "And never once did he look flustered at all".

England's Ian Poulter was tied for the lead at one stage but finished three shots behind in a tie for second with Louis Oosthuizen after a 71.

Poulter, who had gone 39 holes without a bogey until a crucial one at No. 12, closed with a 71.

From the time Kim hit driver out of the rough at No. 14 on Saturday to salvage a par, Poulter could feel this kid 20 years his junior was going to be tough to deal with.

"I wasn't nervous at all because I was leading", he said.

At just 21 years of age, Si Woo Kim kept a clean scorecard in the final round at the Players Championship on his way to becoming the youngest ever victor of the event. Poulter's right that Chamblee isn't as good of a golfer as he is, and that it's easier to criticize from the sidelines than actually make the decisions or hit the shots, but it is Chamblee's job to give honest analysis, and that shouldn't always be positive. He's the youngest victor in Players Championship history, taking down previous record-holder Adam Scott.

Just like Tiger in his prime.

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