Kim wins Players Championship as Poulter settles for tied second

Si Woo Kim lands biggest title of his young career to date, while Poulter records his best finish in two and half years. 

Andy Roberts's picture
Mon, 15 May 2017

si woo kim wins players championship

 

South Korea's Si Woo Kim has become the youngest winner of the Players Championship with a three-stroke victory over England's Ian Poulter and South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen.

Kim, 21, who clinched his maiden PGA Tour at the Wyndham Championship last season, carded a flawless final-round 69 to finish on 10-under par.

Poulter, who thought he had lost his Tour card just weeks ago only for officials to realise there had been a mistake in Poulter's accumulation of points, picked up his best finish since finishing second at the Turkish Airlines Open in November 2014.

WATCH: CABRERA-BELLO RECORDS FIRST ALBATROSS IN PLAYERS HISTORY

PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP LEADERBOARD

-10 S KIM (KOR)
-7 I POULTER (ENG), L OOSTHUIZEN (SA)
-6 R CABRERA-BELLO (SPA), K STANLEY (US)

The Englishman briefly moved to within a shot of the lead when making birdie at 11, but he handed the initiative back to Kim when making bogey at the 12th.

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.

U-TURN: POULTER GETS HIS TOUR CARD BACK

"From being where I was a few weeks ago to finish tied second, it's a good week," said Poulter, who has now locked his PGA Tour card up for next season following the result. 

"It's been a tough 18 months to be honest. Today I felt like a couple of putts slid by. Barring a horrible second shot at the last, it was a very good week. 

"I can now plan a schedule and enjoy my golf. Hopefully this is a stepping stone to pushing on for the rest of the year."

Kim started the final round two shots adrift of 54-hole leaders Kyle Stanley and JB Holmes, but breezed his way to the front on the opening nine with birdies at the first, seventh and ninth.

With many of his nearest challengers struggling to keep pace, Kim calmly strolled home for his second career title with pars at each hole of the back nine. 

"I never expected I was going to win this tournament," said Kim, who had failed to post a top-20 finish on the PGA Tour all season.

"I had not been playing the best golf this season so I'm just very excited to be the champion."

TaylorMade 2017 M1 Iron review by GolfMagic

The victory pushes Kim up into the world's top 50 and straight into the automatic positions for this year's International Presidents Cup team.

Four players have now won on the PGA Tour aged 22 or below, with Kim joining Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia and Jordan Spieth.

Spain's Rafa Cabrera-Bello became the first player to record an albatross in the tournament's history and finished fourth alongside Stanley, the latter who joined Paul Azinger as the only ever player to birdie the iconic par-3 17th every round of the week. 

IN THE BAG: SI WOO KIM

DRIVER: TaylorMade M1 2017 (8.5 degrees, MCA Tensei Blue TX)

FAIRWAYS: TaylorMade M1 2017 (15 degrees, MCA Kuro Kage Dual TiNi 80TX; 19 degrees, Matrix Speed Rulz 80C TX)

IRONS: P750 Tour Proto Irons (5-9, KBS Tour-V 125; P770 Irons (3-4, KBS Tour-V 125)

WEDGES: Titleist Vokey Design SM6 (48-08 F-Grind, 54-08 M-Grind and 60-08 J-Grind degrees; KBS Tour-V 120 shafts)

PUTTER: Scotty Cameron 009M Prototype

BALL: TaylorMade TP5x 

SHOES: adidas Tour360 BOOST