Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Ian Poulter to compete at PGA Championship


But the real star of the weekend was TaylorMade player Kim who managed to hold his nerve among 48 of the world's top-50 golfers to finish The Players with an incredible 10-under 278.

"After consulting with my team last night and this morning, I have made a decision to withdraw from this week's AT&T Byron Nelson", Kim said in a statement.

"From that moment, I was dreaming that I really want to be in this tournament", Kim said through a translator. "There's like 14 holes of good stuff tee to green and then there's four every day that are below my standard, and I would like to lift that up consistency wise to get it solid for the US Open so I feel I can feature there".

In doing so, the 21-year-old became the youngest victor of event, breaking the mark previously held by Adam Scott, who won the championship as a 23-year-old in 2004.

And it wasn't just that hole. On Saturday night at THE PLAYERS, my back began to flare up. At 21 years, 10 months and 16 days, Kim is the youngest victor of the tournament considered the fifth major on the PGA Tour.

After winning The Players, Kim left Florida with a cool check for $1,890,000. "And never once did he look flustered at all".

Kim saved that for the trophy presentation, when he realized he had beaten the deepest and strongest field in golf, and all the rewards that come with it.

Kim said he wasn't nervous because of his victory last year in the Wyndham Championship, which gave him a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour.

"I'm just so excited to be the champion".

Kim had a two-shot lead heading into the back nine Sunday and was never out of the solo lead the rest of the way.

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But he's gone clean out there today, which is extremely impressive under that pressure.

Even so, Poulter's outlook sure is different. He earned a card at age 17, but he could not become a PGA Tour member until he turned 18 the following June. He made the most of it by becoming the only serious threat to Kim on the back nine. He took a penalty drop and then hit wedge over the trees and almost holed it, tapping in for bogey and 71. Instead, he tapped in for bogey.

The PGA Tour changed its FedEx Cup points distribution that mainly affected the middle of the leaderboard, but players on medical extensions are supposed to play under the same set of rules as when injury sidelined them.

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.

But Choi needed a David Toms three-putt on the first playoff hole to raise his Waterford crystal. J.B. Holmes had an absolute shocker. He started Sunday in a tie for first. In 12 tournaments before The Players, his best finish was a tie for 22nd at the Texas Open and he shot only three rounds in the 60s, which he matched in four days on the Stadium Course.

Kim eclipsed Adam Scott, who won the Players Championship at 23 in 2004.

"If you're on your game and playing well, that the things you do", Oosthuizen said. "And that's exactly what he's done".

Australia's world No.3 Jason Day claimed an unwanted record for the worst-ever final round by a defending champion since the Players moved to TPC Sawgrass in 1982, signing for an 80. While no male Korean golfers were able to crack their way into the top 30 in the world ranking previous year, there were five Koreans ranked in the top 10 of the Rolex Ranking, a ranking system for female golfers.

Garcia, the 2008 Players champion, had two doubles and a triple and ballooned 11 shots higher than his third-round 67 with a 78 to finished tied for 30th.

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