Si Woo Kim to leave golf for military service

Golfer Kim Si-woo on Sunday became the youngest player ever to win the Players Championship in the U.S.

Si Woo Kim carded a fine final round of 69 at TPC Sawgrass to become the youngest ever champion in The Players Championship.

South Korea's Si Woo Kim finished on 10 under par, three shots ahead of Ian Poulter and Louis Oosthuizen to lift the prize of nearly £1.5million.

After playing just 13 tournaments in 2016 due to a foot injury, Poulter had 10 events this season to earn 218 FedEx Cup points or 347,634 USA dollars (£269,755) to remain fully exempt. And he earned every penny and point, grinding out pars after missing 10 greens, making birdies at Nos.

Elsewhere, Maria Dunne (Skerries) led wire to wire to claim the Irish Women's Open Stroke Play Championship. The others are Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia and Jordan Spieth. "From the beginning of this year, I really wished I could be top 10 so I could get the ticket to get in".

The latest win is such a huge confidence booster that Kim said he's now looking forward to major championships. He followed that with birdie on 17, then holed a long par putt from just off the 18th green.

"The difference between my first victory and this one is that I am now confident I can win a major", he said.

Poulter, 20 years older than Kim, knew the goods when he saw the leaderboards.

"As good as he played yesterday, he's obviously gone out there today and played even better", Poulter said.




Kim did get some help, when Holmes and Stanley had disastrous days.

Ian Poulter salutes the crowd after nearly pitching his fourth shot into the hole on the 18th green. (AP) - Si Woo Kim made Sunday at The Players Championship look like child's play.

Oosthuizen, who finished tied for second at 7 under, sensed his opportunity slipping away with consecutive bogeys at 13 and 14 because Kim kept recovering from everywhere around the greens.

Rafa Cabrera Bello of Spain hit 8-iron that bounded off the side of a bunker and into the cup for an albatross 2 on the par-5 16th.

After holing from 50 feet for an eagle on the par-five second, Johnson dropped shots at the fourth and seventh before a birdie on the ninth took him to the turn in 35.

The only thing old about Kim might be his back. He's been plagued with back problems all season, forcing him to withdraw from four tournaments and also miss seven cuts. He owns five additional top-10 finishes in 61 career starts on Tour, but his only top 10 this season was a tie for 10th at the CIMB Classic.

But latching on with coach Sean Foley has resulted in a smoother swing that has produced less stress on his back and The Players might be a turning point.

An opening 69 raised his hopes. Not only did Ian Poulter, Louis Oosthuizen, Lucas Glover or third round co-leaders Kyle Stanley and J.B. Holmes never catch Kim, all of them except Poulter struggled to stay within reasonable striking distance.

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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