TWENTY ONE year old South Korean golfer Si Woo Kim became the youngest player to win THE PLAYERS Championship with a seemingly nerveless final round at the very dangerous TPC Sawgrass.
The world number 75 was the only player to go bogey-free Sunday, closing with a 3-under 69 for a three-shot victory in golf’s unofficial fifth major.
Despite his tender years, Kim has lots of experience on tour, already playing in some 120 pro events and setting a number of age records.
In 2012 as a 17 year old Kim became the youngest player to graduate from the US PGA TOUR Qualifying School, though under the rules he could not become a PGA Tour member until he turned 18, midway through the 2013 season.
In 2015 he won his first Web.com Tour event, the Stonebrae Classic, becoming the second youngest winner in Web.com Tour history after Jason Day.
Last year he won his first TOUR title, 2016 Wyndham Championship, and was the season’s youngest winner.
As well as his almost $2million winner’s cheque he also get some very healthy ongoing exemptions – five years for the TOUR, five years at THE PLAYERS and multi year major exemptions.
The other player smiling after a tournament that saw a number of blow-outs by some top players (Jason Day had a final round 80) and the drink at the island green 17th claiming a near record number of balls, was Ian Poulter.
Poulter, who only two weeks ago was spared his full PGA TOUR status because of a clerical oversight, was the only player to seriously challenge Kim.
On the 18th he shanked his second shot right into a bush but after taking a penalty drop on the pine cones put a miraculous approach inches from the hole.
The Englishman closed with a 71 to tie second with Louis Oosthuizen (73) on 7-under.
Scott top Aussie
Adam Scott, who was leading the tournament at 6-undercoming down the stretch in the first round only to double bogey the two closing holes, bounced back with four back nine birdies (including the 17th) finished at 5-under tied for sixth.
Day was at a painful 7-over tied for 60th.
Rafa Cabrera Bello’s history-making albatross at THE PLAYERS