Korean Kim Si-woo wins The Players Championship

Posted May 17, 2017

Si Woo Kim, who will turn 22 on June 28, is now the youngest-ever victor of THE PLAYERS Championship and the irony there is that despite competing against a bevy of seasoned veterans on Sunday, his bogey-free 69 in the final round was the quintessential example of how a grown man goes out and wins himself a big tournament on the final day.

Si Woo Kim may have just announced his name on the world stage by winning the Players Championship, but that could be the last we'll hear from him in a while.

Victory at TPC Sawgrass - regarded as golf's unofficial fifth major - won't exempt Kim but it does guarantee him five years on the US PGA Tour, as well as starts at the next three Masters, US Open and British Open.

Ian Poulter made a remarkable bogey from the bushes and trees on the 18th for a 71 and tied for second with Louis Oosthuizen, who fell back with two bogeys on the back nine.

You might think after winning The Players Championship, especially after winning the championship as the youngest player ever, you'd be ready to go big and celebrate.

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 was a big shock to the system to hit one of those nasty shanks when I've hit it as good as I have all week, but the fourth shot was pretty special, from one of the worst shots I've ever hit to one of the very best", he said. He ended the tournament tied for second and picked up nearly $1 million in prize money.

While there was some frustration at not being able to overhaul the leader it's still a far cry from three weeks ago when Poulter thought he may have lost his PGA Tour card.

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Si Woo Kim made Sunday at The Players Championship look like child's play. Other than Kim, Wang Jeung-hun and An Byeong-hun are listed at 57th and 58th in the world ranking as of Sunday.

Poulter, 20 years older than Kim, knew the goods when he saw the leaderboards.

The runner-up finish brought Poulter $940,000 and enough FedEx Cup points to effectively secure his PGA Tour card for next year. "From the beginning of this year, I really wished I could be top 10 so I could get the ticket to get in".

"I saw it kick off the bank of the bunker and I was a bit anxious at the beginning because I kind of felt that it shot a little too fast", Cabrera Bello said.

Poulter reduced the deficit to one to get back in to contention, but as Kim scrambled for par on the first two holes of the back nine, the 41-year-old gave away his chance at glory with a dropped shot on the 12th and several missed opportunitiies.

Ian Poulter, of England, hits from the 15th fairway during the final round of The Players Championship golf tournament Sunday, May 14, 2017, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

But he admitted to gaining confidence as the day wore on - especially after he took the lead for good with an 18-foot birdie putt at the ninth.

Graeme McDowell hit a disappointing final round 80 to end the tournament on nine over par. "I'm looking forward to working hard from now on".