Despite becoming the youngest Players Championship victor in history and the youngest Asian to achieve two PGA Tour wins, Si Woo Kim is resigned to the fact that he will lose nearly two years of his blossoming career. According to GolfWorld, the Players Championship 2017 victor has chose to undergo his country’s mandatory military service.
He became the third global Players champion in four years and led seven worldwide players among the top-10.
“I really wish I could have that benefit”, Kim, who is only the second South Korean after K.J. Choi to reign supreme at Sawgrass, told reporters through a translator Sunday.
“On Saturday night at the Players, my back began to flare up”, Kim said in a statement.
And the 21-year-old is also comfortably the youngest victor of the Players Championship, surpassing the record set by former world No 1 Adam Scott, who was 23 when he wonat Sawgrass in 2004. Going into last week, Kim was ranked outside the top 200 in three categories related to the long game (driving, approach shots and tee-to-green). Not exactly terrific news if you’re a 21-year-old, although it’s clear that Kim has the talent to be great if he can keep himself healthy.
However, even though he failed to earn his first tournament victory since 2012, there was still plenty of positives for the Englishman to take away.
“It was a big shock to the system to hit one of those nasty shanks when I’ve hit it as good as I have all week, but the fourth shot was pretty special, from one of the worst shots I’ve ever hit to one of the very best”, he said.
Stanley was nine shots lower than his playing partner, but a 75 still dropped him into a tie for fourth at 6-under with Rafael Cabrera Bello – who had one of the most sensational finishes in Players history when he made the first double-eagle at the par-5 16th hole, and added a birdie at No. 17.
The points make him virtually a lock for the FedEx Cup playoffs this year, and the $940,000 was his second-highest paycheck behind his victory in the Match Play Championship seven years ago.
“I was trying to get my irons in closely, but just couldn’t get close enough”, Oosthuizen said.
“From that moment (when Choi won the 2011 Players Championship), I was dreaming that I really want to be in this tournament”, Kim said.
Kim Si-woo finished on a total of 10-under par after completing his final round with a bogey-free 3-under-par 69, which put an insurmountable distance between him and his closest rivals Poulter and South Africa’s Lous Oosthuizen, reports Efe.
“I know he hit a couple of awesome shots yesterday to get himself out of trouble, driver off the deck on 14 was a pretty impressive shot. Never once did he look flustered at all”.
More importantly, he has a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour, along with a three-year exemption to the Masters, U.S. Open and British Open. But he had a stretch of six consecutive holes on the back nine without facing a par putt over two feet as he scrambled his way to the top.
“I haven’t decided yet [when it will be], but I have five years of exemption, so we will see”.
Kim started the day two strokes off two co-leaders: J.B. Holmes and Kyle Stanley.