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Korean Kim becomes youngest to win Players Championship


When you look back at the history of THE PLAYERS Championship at Sawgrass and the past champions, you're essentially looking at a who's who of the PGA Tour of the past 30-or-so years.

PGA TOURTHE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIPSite: Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

"I still can t believe I m the champion and I m the youngest champion for this major tournament", Kim said through a translator.

"I think everyone that's won one (big event), you want to try and win a second, and if you won two, you want to probably try and win a third".

The only drama at the end came from Ian Poulter, who was happy just to be here.

Earlier, 36-year-old Scott made a late move up the leaderboard with a back-nine charge. Poulter took a penalty drop before producing an outstanding iron to tap-in range.

There was plenty of excitement Sunday.

Cabrera Bello holed out from 181 yards for the first albatross in tournament history on the 16th, then followed that with another two on the 17th, before holing from 35 feet for par on the last after hooking his tee shot into the water.

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.

Chasing a first victory since 2012 and a maiden strokeplay success in the United States, Poulter began the final round at Sawgrass three shots off the lead shared by Americans JB Holmes and Kyle Stanley.


It took him eight shots in four rounds, or the same number of shots J.B. Holmes had on Sunday when he made his quintuple bogey.

Oosthuizen was ultimately undone by bogeys at the 13th and 14th holes after he had eagled the par-5 11th to make up for a poor front nine.

Day, who lapped the field for a four-shot Players victory in 2016, finished at seven-over for the tournament.

He was playing on a major medical extension from a foot injury previous year and had 10 tournaments to earn enough money or FedEx Cup points to keep full status.

As for the victor?

"I really wish we could have that benefit", Kim told reporters on Sunday.

He's the youngest-ever victor of The Players Championship and didn't take any chances on that back nine. However, he was able to turn things around in 2015 and made the cut in 18 of 25 events he played and also picked up his first-ever victory at the Stonebrae Classic, which vaulted him from 734th in the world to No. 363.

The win was Kim's second on the PGA Tour and earned him a five-year exemption on the Tour.

Kim produced a flawless final round three-under-par 69 to become the second South Korean to win the prestigious event after 2011 champion K.J. Choi. "I know he hit a couple of unbelievable shots [Saturday] to get himself out of trouble - driver off the deck on 14 was a pretty impressive shot". "While I was practicing with him, he taught me about the course at the Stadium, and so when I was in position the last round, before he actually explained about his experience of being in the leading position, so that kind of advice actually helped me a lot". "That's why I could do well". After pars at the next five holes, the youngster birdied two of the next three holes for a front-nine 3-under 33 to get himself to 10-under, the first to reach that number all week as the course played extremely hard in the final round. However, due to tour rules, Kim couldn't become a full-time member until he turned 18, which he did in the summer of 2013. That card effectively went to waste, and Kim spent the next two years on the developmental tour until earning his card back to the big leagues.

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