Published: Tue, May 23, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Si Woo Kim becomes youngest champion at THE PLAYERS ever at 21

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

South Korea's Si Woo Kim produced a nerveless display to become the youngest ever victor of the Players Championship but will soon be set to put his burgeoning career on hold for 21 months for national service. He carded an 84 - the worst ever finishing score by a three-round leader at The Players.

Kim shot 68-69 on the weekend and made only one bogey on a Players Stadium Course that was even tougher because of a strong wind for so much of his final round. Speaking after his maiden tour victory, the 21-year-old has resigned himself to serving his country.

Poulter played his first 11 holes on Sunday in 3 under to put some heat on Kim, but suffered bogeys at the par-4 12th - his first in 30 holes - and the finisher to keep him from his third TOUR win.

"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 don't think it's - I think they might need to adjust that at some stage. He followed that with birdie on 17, then holed a long par putt from just off the 18th green. PHOTO: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images.

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. Poulter fell short when he missed the cut in his 10th start at the Texas Open, and he figured he would be stuck asking for exemptions the rest of the year.

1 - It was a second PGA Tour title for Kim - he won the Wyndham Championship previous year.

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For runner-up Poulter it was also a bounce back of sorts.

Less than a month ago Poulter thought he had lost his card on the PGA Tour after failing to earn enough points in a certain number of events this season having recovered from a foot injury that badly affected his 2016 campaign. Now, he's nearly assured of being in the season-ending FedEx Cup play-offs. The main reason: Golf's premier men's players scattered after the annual gathering at Augusta (Ga.) National in early April for the season's first major. Just three (Johnson, Henrik Stenson and Hideki Matsuyama) of the top 10 players in the world finished in the top 25.

"But I think I've still got some work to do. The putter is not quite doing what I would like". The Tour went over its data and agreed, and in the process realized Poulter also met the criteria to retain his Tour card.

"Overall there was lots of good stuff for me", said Scott, after his fourth top-10 finish in the Players. Ian Poulter pulled within a stroke of the champion, but he too fall apart on the back nine. "I just focused on the middle of the green".

"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". Could Jason Day repeat as victor?

Defending champion Jason Day had a quadruple-bogey nine at the par-five 16th and a double-bogey at the par three 17th to shoot 80 and plunge to equal 60th.

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