Si Woo Kim becomes youngest winner of Players Championship

The 21-year-old was calmness personified as he finished on 10-under par after a flawless final round, keeping Poulter, his main rival on the back nine, at arm's-length during the latter stages.

Kim shot 10-under overall, three shots clear of Ian Poulter and Louis Oosthuizen.


The 21-year-old showed nerves of steel to shoot a three-under-par 69 on the final day at Sawgrass to finish on 10 under, three shots ahead of Poulter, who was tied for the lead at one point. The cauldron that is the 16th, 17th and 18th holes at the TPC Sawgrass turned tame, save for the theatrics of Rafa Cabrera Bello's albatross.

"I just wanted to throw it high in the sky, middle of the fairway, and I don't know - I missed the fairway, " he said.

The only drama at the end came from Ian Poulter, who was happy just to be here.

Kim proved a steady stroke and the ability to let the field fall off the leaderboard was the best way to secure victory.

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Poulter shanked his second shot from the right rough on the 18th, and it bounced off hospitality tents, down a cart path and into a palmetto bush.

Standing two shots down at 18, Poulter looked to be in serious danger of making a mess of 18 when forced to take a drop from the trees, but somehow played a miraculous shot through the trees to within inches of the cup for a tap-in bogey.

It was high-quality stuff from the Englishman, as indicated by the fact that he had gone 35 holes without a bogey.

There was plenty of excitement Sunday.

Stanley and countryman J.B. Holmes, who closed with an 84, were 54-hole co-leaders, but Holmes had bogeys on three of the first five holes and Stanley on two of the first four to stumble back.

Matt Kuchar, THE PLAYERS Champion in 2012, recorded a quintuple-bogey 9 on the par-4 14th hole in a third-round 81. Dustin Johnson, No. 1 in the world, never has finished better than a tie for 28th in this tournament.

Holmes wasn't alone. Defending champion Jason Day closed with an 80, keeping very much in tact the streak of no victor ever repeating in the Players.

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All four have won twice on the PGA Tour before the age of 22 in the last 25 years.

As for the victor? Even though Kim only hit eight greens in regulation, he went six straight holes on the back without facing a par putt over 2 feet.

His last hurdle was getting by the final two holes where not even his two-shot lead was safe - the island green at the par-3 17th and a closing hole with water all the way down the left side.

"I can't believe I'm drinking water right now", he added. "I'm looking forward to working hard from now on".

He's the youngest-ever victor of The Players Championship and didn't take any chances on that back nine. Purse: $10.5 million (First place: $1,890,000).

Kim also becomes the second Korean golfer to win here at The Players Championship.

Unheralded South Korean golfer Si Woo Kim has become the youngest victor of the Players Championship, obliterating the mark previously held by Australia's Adam Scott. Hopefully, we'll see one of them kick on and go on to win a major, which would really make a statement in a world of golf. "But the fourth shot was pretty special, from one of the worst shots I've ever hit to one of the very best".

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