Players Championship 2017: Si Woo Kim Becomes Youngest Player to Ever Win Event

Tyler ConwayFeatured ColumnistMay 14, 2017

Si Woo Kim, of South Korea, celebrates after winning The Players Championship golf tournament Sunday, May 14, 2017, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

J.B. Holmes fell off. So did Kyle Stanley. And with none of the world's top players anywhere near the top of the leaderboard, someone had to step into the void. 

Si Woo Kim did just that, carding a three-under 69 to defeat Ian Poulter and Louis Oosthuizen by three strokes to win the 2017 Players Championship. The 21-year-old is the youngest player to win the PGA's proverbial fifth major. Adam Scott set the previous record in 2004, winning the event at age 23. 

Kim, who has been cut in his only two appearances at a major championship, will see an 111-spot boost in his FedEx Cup rankings. Rex Hoggard of Golf Channel noted the unlikelihood of Kim's win:

Starting the day two strokes behind the leaders, Kim played his second straight steady round as the field faded around him. He opened with a birdie on No. 1 and then moved into sole possession of the lead with another pair of red numbers on Nos. 7 and 9. 

With Holmes and Stanley out of the picture and Poulter easing the pressure after dropping a stroke on No. 12, all Kim had to do was ride out the back nine to get the win. He finished his round with nine straight pars on the back nine, including a tap-in from a little more than three feet for the win.

Poulter added another bogey on No. 18 to help Oosthuizen get back in a tie for second. Oosthuizen began the day at eight under but spent most of the day trying to scramble after a double-bogey at No. 4. He made that back with an eagle at No. 11 and got another birdie at the par-five 16th to atone for his three bogeys on the day. 

Rafa Cabrera Bello and Stanley rounded out the top five in a tie for fourth place. Four golfers (including Scott) tied for sixth place at five under. 

Holmes and Stanley, after beginning their day seemingly on a head-to-head path for the title, instead traded bad shots in a disappointing final group.

Holmes had the worst round anyone carded of the day, finishing with a 12-over 84. He finished his day with an eight on the par-three 17th and a double-bogey on the par-four 18th, which came after an already miserable round. Before the nightmare final two holes, Holmes already had seven bogeys and a double. 

Stanley had five bogeys with two birdies as part of a 75. Neither player factored into the final round much after the first few holes.

The NoLayingUp podcast tweeted as Holmes was collapsing:

Dustin Johnson, who spent most of his week struggling to hover around par, had his best round of the weekend Sunday. The world No. 1 shot a four-under 68, moving himself up 32 spots to sit in a tie for 12th. Aside from being cut at January's Farmers Insurance Open, this is the first time Johnson has finished outside the top 10 in the 2017 calendar year.

Masters winner Sergio Garcia, who came in four strokes off the lead, finished out with a miserable round of 78 in Round 4. Garcia carded three double-bogeys, including one on No. 18, and shot a 41 on the front nine to fall well out of contention. 

Rory McIlroy also quietly finished in a tie for 35th after shooting a three-over 75. Playing in his first tournament with TaylorMade clubs, McIlroy never shot better than 71. It's just the second time all season he's finished outside the top 10 in a stroke-play event.