South Korea’s Si Woo Kim completed an error-free closing round of 69 to win The Players Championship by three strokes from England’s Ian Poulter and Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa.
“I feel like I’m still dreaming that I won this championship,” Kim said after claiming the victory.
On a windy day at TPC Sawgrass, Kim was the only player to go bogey free in the final round. He came to the perilous par-3 17th with a two-shot lead, calmly found the middle of the green and two-putted and then he played a solid drive down the centre of the 18th fairway.
“I wasn’t nervous at all because I was leading,” he said of the 17th. “I just focused on the middle of the green.”
3 Talking points from The Players Championship
1 – It was a second PGA Tour title for Kim – he won the Wyndham Championship last year. He now has a five year exemption on the PGA Tour, a three-year exemption to The Masters and a cheque for $1,890,000.
“Because of that experience,” Kim said of his previous win, “I could be relieved and I could be very stable. I just focused on myself and I didn’t try to think about others’ scores.”
2 – It was a great week for Ian Poulter who had thought he’d lost his PGA Tour card just a couple of weeks ago. He ended the tournament tied for second and picked up almost $1 million in prize money. But it was a dramatic finish for the Einishnglishman. From the right hand rough on the 18th, he shanked his second shot, bouncing it off hospitality tents and the cart path into a bush. He needed a penalty drop from there. His fourth shot was superb though and he was able to tap in for a bogey five.
“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,” Poulter said. “But the fourth shot was pretty special — from one of the worst shots I’ve ever hit to one of the very best.”
3 – It was a bad day for 54-hole co-leader Kyle Stanley who closed with a 75 to finish in a tie for fourth. But it was nothing compared to the other 54-hole co-leader’s collapse. J.B. Holmes had an absolute shocker. He went to the turn in 40, dropped further shots at the 14th and 15th holes and then ran up an eight on the 17th and a six on the 18th. He carded an 84 – the worst ever finishing score by a three-round leader at The Players.
The Players Championship
TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Purse: $10,500,000 Par: 72
1 Si Woo Kim (Kor) 69 72 68 69 278 $1,890,000
T2 Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) 69 66 73 73 281 $924,000
T2 Ian Poulter (Eng) 72 67 71 71 281 $924,000
T4 Rafa Cabrera Bello (Esp) 69 70 73 70 282 $462,000
T4 Kyle Stanley (USA) 69 66 72 75 282 $462,000
T6 Lucas Glover (USA) 70 70 73 70 283 $339,937
T6 Francesco Molinari (Ita) 69 74 69 71 283 $339,937
T6 Adam Scott (Aus) 70 72 71 70 283 $339,937
T6 Brendan Steele (USA) 69 71 75 68 283 $339,937
10 Alex Noren (Swe) 68 71 72 73 284 $283,500
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage