Si Woo Kim: Players Championship victor profile - Who is South Korea star
19 May, 2017, 15:35 | Author: Alberta Rodriguez
Kim offered no visible signs of pain Sunday, as he birdied three holes on the front nine to go out in 3-under 33 and parred the entire back nine to shoot a closing 3-under 69 and finish at 10 under, three shots clear of the field.
For those trying to catch Kim in The Players Championship, and for thousands of fans who anticipated the drama this tournament so often delivers, the infamous par-3 17th hole with its island green represented the best chance that the pressure might finally get to him.
It also marked Kim's second win on the PGA Tour after he was victorious at the Wyndham Championship a year ago.
A total of 66 PGA Tour golfers have earned more than $1 million over the course of the 2017 season so far, but that doesn't mean that some players aren't trying to save money when possible.
Rafa Cabrera Bello of Spain was never going to win, but it will be hard to forget how he finished. Not only did Ian Poulter, Louis Oosthuizen, Lucas Glover or third round co-leaders Kyle Stanley and J.B. Holmes never catch Kim, all of them except Poulter struggled to stay within reasonable striking distance.
The smart money, if an global player overtook American co-leaders J.B. Holmes and Kyle Stanley, was on veterans such as Poulter, Oosthuizen, Adam Scott (the previous youngest victor, at 23 in 2004) or Masters champion Sergio Garcia.
Pretty incredible for such a young player!
Kim's first win on the PGA Tour came at the 2016 Wyndham Championship.
Neither Stanley (75) nor Holmes (84) figured in the finish as Kim parred every hole on the back nine to secure the title.
While exemptions are offered to athletes who medal at the Olympic Games or win gold at the Asian Games, significant achievements on the PGA Tour do not yet warrant an exception.
The 41-year-old has accepted an invitation to the European Tour's flagship event after bouncing back to form with a share of second place at last week's Players Championship. "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".
Kim followed in the footsteps of South Korean K.J. Choi, who won the 2011 Players Championship and was all too happy to provide his countryman some tips about his experience.
"It's been a tough 18 months".
"While I was practicing with him, he taught me about the course at the Stadium", Kim said. It was only the third albatross in the history of the tournament and the first on that hole.
World No. 1-ranked Dustin Johnson matched his best Players score with a 68 and posted his best 72-hole position with a tie for 12th at 2-under.
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That is a big disappointment, especially since he's experienced, having played for Australia's Test and ODI teams. I can say that none of the foreign players took responsibility and at least played 12 to 15 overs.
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