Ian Poulter returns to world's top 100 after second at Players Championship

Posted May 17, 2017

He now shares locker No. 4 with Lanny Wadkins, the former PGA champion and Ryder Cup stalwart.

Who is Si Woo Kim?

It appears more than tightness was at play.

SERGIO GARCIA is not only a victor in golf but also in love. But the steely-nerved South Korean held up in the biggest pressure moment of his career.

On a windy afternoon at TPC Sawgrass, where anything can go wrong without notice, Kim was the only player to go bogey-free in the final round that derailed everyone else in a hopeless pursuit of him.

Tee to green, Kim was at times like watching a train wreck that never happened. He carded an 84 - the worst ever finishing score by a three-round leader at The Players.

The tour's "strokes gained" statistic measures how a player performs against the field and has become the most reliable standard.

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.

He was better in putting, the most important category in golf.

He did not have a top 20 all year.

Kim has played in 19 events this year.

So is he another Adam Scott or another Craig Perks?

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"Sunday's victory gives me confidence that I can win a major title", Kim said. He was No. 18 in the world when the Australian won at Sawgrass.

Ian Poulter briefly joined him early on at the top during his quest for a first victory since 2012, but Kim birdied the seventh and ninth holes to become the only player to make it to 10-under-par for the week, and would not relinquish that lead for the remainder of the round. That turned out to be his only victory.

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.

"And [Kim] played like someone that was doing it for five or six years, like it was just another round of golf".

Kim smashed Scott's record as youngest Players Championship victor, which the Queenslander set in 2004 aged 23 years, 8 months and 12 days.

Just over four years ago, Kim came to the United States to play the final version of the tour's qualifying school.

"I really wish ( I could avoid it) but I have to go to the military service and I've already decided I'm going to go, too, so I'm ready", said Kim.

Faith, loyalty, and commitment are the main ingredients to it all and Carens' relationship with Kim says much about him.

"From that moment, I was dreaming that I really want to be in this tournament", Kim said through a translator. "And from that experience, I think that made me win this tournament".

Kim's victory earned him a five-year PGA Tour exemption, which will be interrupted at some stage when he heads home to South Korea to complete mandatory national military service.

Hailing from South Korea, Kim is expected to serve a minimum of 21 months for the country's military.

TPC Sawgrass was brutal to the players all week.