Lunes, 23 Abril, 2018

Players Championship: Ian Poulter seizes second chance as Kim joins exclusive club

Kim smashes Scott record with Players win Kim sets mark at Players
Montrelle Montesinos | 20 May, 2017, 11:28

The 21-year-old Kim fired a bogey-free final round of three-under-par 69 at TPC Sawgrass to finish at 10-under, claiming a three-shot victory over England's Ian Poulter (71) and South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen (73) at golf's unofficial fifth major championship.

He was the only player Sunday who didn't make bogey in his round of 3-under 69 for a three-shot victory.

Finishing second rarely sits well with Ian Poulter but on Sunday the Englishman was in good spirits after his joint runner-up performance at The Players Championship.

"I feel like I'm still dreaming", Kim said, through an interpreter, about becoming the youngest Players champion and the first player from Asia to win twice on the PGA Tour before age 22.

Less than a month ago Poulter thought he had lost his full playing status on the PGA Tour after failing to earn enough points in a designated number of tournaments this season after returning from a foot injury that curtailed his 2016 campaign. He missed the par putt, and only had one really good look at birdie the rest of the way.

"I'm looking forward to seeing the changes that have been made at Wentworth", added Poulter.

He is the second South Korean to win the title, after KJ Choi was triumphant in 2011.

"I think it was hard to kind of get it close, and obviously, the opportunities on the back nine were 11 - I hit a decent shot into 10 and had a decent look there, but took advantage of 11", Poulter explained.

He also smashed Australian Adam Scott's record as youngest victor, which the Queenslander set in 2004 aged 23 years, 8 months and 12 days.

Kim's first PGA Tour victory came at last season's Wyndham Championship in his 38th PGA Tour start.

Kim refused to open any door, going 10-for-10 on scrambling pars, including two from bunkers at holes No. 10 and 11. I've played good golf.

Holmes shot 44 on the back nine and his 84 was the highest score in Players history for a player who led or shared the lead entering a Sunday. That gave him a 70 and a tie for fourth with Kyle Stanley, a co-leader after 54 holes who shot 75.

Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell both had disappointing final rounds.

BELLO'S FINISH: Rafa Cabrera Bello couldn't get anything to go in the hole in the final round of The Players Championship. He had not posted a top-10 since a tie for 10th in the Tour's event in Malaysia last October, his first start of the wrap-around season. J.B. Holmes had an absolute shocker.

Cabrera Bello played the final three holes at the Stadium Course - the par-5 16th, par-3 17th and lengthy par-4 closing hole - in just eight strokes, 4 under par.