Si Woo Kim became the youngest winner of THE PLAYERS Championship in the tournament’s history at just 21 years and 304 days old.
The world-number-75 shot a bogey-free final round 69 to beat Ian Poulter and Louis Oosthuizen by three shots for his second PGA Tour title.
Having started the day two shots off the lead, the South Korean opened with three front-nine birdies before closing in 36 to break Adam Scott’s record set at 23 years and 8 months in 2004.Embed from Getty Images
Kim headed to the back nine with a two-shot lead over Poulter, Lucas Glover and Kyle Stanley after an opening nine of 33.
Bogeys on the eighth and 12th for Stanley and Glover respectively dropped them away to leave Kim and Poulter as the two leaders.
On the contrary, Poulter took a birdie on the 11th to move to within one and pile the pressure on the leader in the group behind.Embed from Getty Images
Having been two-over for the round, a huge eagle-putt on the 11th moved Oosthuizen right back into contention, one behind Poulter and two-behind the leading Kim. That eagle became even more poignant as Poulter’s first bogey in 40 holes, on the 12th, brought Oosthuizen up to tied second.
As Oosthuizen dropped again with a bogey on the 13th, Kim refused to let up and opened the back nine with four straight pars to maintain a two-shot lead over Poulter. The let up looked as though it might have come on the 14th as Kim flew the green but a remarkable up-and-down from the South Korean to save par was the story of his round.
Poulter struggled to break through and headed to the 18th hole on the back of five straight pars, still two shots behind the leader. HIs approach on the final hole went drastically right and into the spectators giving him an impossibly obstructed pitch; despite a remarkable attempt he could only manage a bogey and opened the door for Kim to close out nine consecutive back-nine pars for victory.Embed from Getty Images
On the back of six missed cuts, four withdrawals and no top 20s in Kim’s last 15 starts, no-one could have called this victory but perhaps it’s one that will kickstart the career of the 21-year-old.