Si Woo Kim becomes youngest winner of Players Championship

Sheri Evans
May 22, 2017

They weren't the only ones cheering him on, as seemingly all of the fans gathered at TPC Sawgrass roared at Poulter's wild 18th-hole bogey, which included a shanked second shot into a bush; an unplayable lie and a penalty shot; and a full wedge for his fourth shot that soared up and over the trees and almost went in the hole.

"I still can't believe I'm the champion, and I'm the youngest champion", Kim said.

Kim Si-woo battled through the pain to earn a breakthrough triumph at the Players Championship, but the back injury he battled at TPC Sawgrass will force him to miss this week's AT&T Byron Nelson.

South Korean golfer Kim Si-woo became the youngest champion at the Players Championship, unofficially considered the fifth "major" of the season, after holding off England's Ian Poulter at TPC Sawgrass here.

It was also revealed that Kim won the Players (and then crammed himself into a tiny airplane seat) with a bad back. To illustrate how good he really was in windy conditions on Sunday, Kim was the only player to go bogey-free. But he had a stretch of six consecutive holes on the back nine without facing a par putt over two feet as he scrambled his way to the top.

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BELLO'S FINISH: Rafa Cabrera Bello couldn't get anything to go in the hole in the final round of The Players Championship. "I was nervous out there all day, being in a situation I hadn't been in for a while". The largest final-round, come-from-behind victory at the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass is five shots by Justin Leonard (1998) and Henrik Stenson (2009). "You never expect them to hit or to go in or anything".

Kim also drilled his tee shot down the middle of the 18th fairway, setting up one final par - from off the green, of course - to cap a final round that was flawless, at least on his scorecard.

European Tour legends Poulter and Sergio Garcia entered the final round in contention. There are still three more majors and a World Golf Championship remaining among tournaments that offer big ranking points.

"From being in a position a couple of weeks ago where I wasn't here to finish tied second, it's a good week", Poulter said after his best finish since November 2014. "From the beginning of this year, I really wished I could be in the top 10 so I could get the ticket to get in, and I'm very proud that I could join this tournament as a representative of Korea and Asia". This year, they will be September 28 to October 1 at Liberty National in New Jersey. The Queenslander started the final round poorly with two bogies in his first nine holes, but he bounced back with four back nine birdies to card a two under 70. Kyle Stanley made a 2 on the par-3 17th all four rounds. "I never expected that I'm going to win this tournament, and I wasn't doing that well at the beginning of this year, but I'm just so excited that I could be the champion".

Oosthuizen held the outright lead after he birdied the second and Stanley and Holmes - who slumped to a closing 84 which included an eight on the 17th - both bogeyed the first.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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