Kim closes strong for win


Poulter said that even though Kim put together a solid round on Saturday at The Players Championship, to put himself in contention, he was even better on Sunday. Less than a month ago, Poulter was fighting for his Tour card.

It was high-quality stuff from the Englishman, as indicated by the fact that he had gone 35 holes without a bogey.

"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. "Because of that, I can play aggressively and I wasn't that nervous this year".

Kim started the final round two shots behind overnight leaders JB Holmes and Kyle Stanley while Poulter, chasing a first victory since 2012 and a maiden strokeplay success in the United States, was three behind.

"He played like someone that was doing it for five or six years like it was just another round of golf, " said Oosthuizen, who played with Kim.

"As good as this week was, I'm still going to try and dissect it and work on certain things that need working on-like the dreaded shank". He trailed by just two shots after the first round, shooting a 3-under 69 with three birdies, an eagle and just two bogeys. He missed the par putt, and only had one really good look at birdie the rest of the way. "For that all to turn around the way and for me to be sitting here in a slightly different situation, it's pleasing". "But being four behind with four holes to go is probably not ideal".

Poulter began the final round at TPC Sawgrass in a tie for fifth, and he was alone in second place until he shanked his final approach shot wide of the gallery and into a palm tree.

"As I got out on the range it was blowing 25 miles an hour and I thought, wow, this is going to be a proper test of golf", he told Sky Sports. "It's a big deal to be able to concentrate on just playing golf and it makes a huge difference".

It was his first albatross, and he wasn't done.

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Making his first start since claiming a maiden major title at Augusta National, Garcia was four over par for his first six holes of the week and was on the same mark before following a birdie on the 16th by recording a hole-in-one on the famous "island green" 17th to salvage an opening 73.

He wound up with a 70 and tied for fourth.

In doing so, Kim became the youngest victor of THE PLAYERS Championship in history.

The victory pushes Kim up into the world's top 50 and straight into the automatic positions for this year's International Presidents Cup team. There are still three more majors and a World Golf Championship remaining among tournaments that offer big ranking points.

"Usually I'm very nervous, but last year I won one of the tournaments and then I could get the two years of exemption", Kim said. The top 10 automatically qualify, and at No. 28 in the world, he has a healthy advantage over the final qualifying spot. "I still don't really like the 12th".

The matches were in South Korea in 2015.

Three times Kim saved par on hard bunkers shots, but he said his best up-and-down was on the par-4 14th hole - the week's second-most hard hole.

Kim, ranked 75th in the world, became only the second non-US player to win twice on the US PGA Tour before age 22, joining last month s Masters victor, Spaniard Sergio Garcia.