Si Woo Kim became the youngest Players Championship winner Sunday when he shot a 3-under 69 to win by three shots.
Kim, 21, was a master around the greens, which helped erase a few shaky approach shots. He became just the second person from South Korea to win the Players, joining K.J. Choi, and earned a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour along with a three-year major-championship exemption with the win.
The victory couldn't have come at a better time for Kim, who also won the Wyndham Championship last year.
Entering the week, Kim had either missed the cut or withdrawn in 10 of his last 15 starts. But his smooth swing looked back on point while maneuvering around TPC Sawgrass' dangerous layout. He did not record a bogey Sunday, while finishing 10 under for the tournament.
Ian Poulter and Louis Oosthuizen tied for second at 7 under. Poulter, who almost lost his card earlier this year, was pleased to gain access to this event. Poulter was Kim's closest competitor throughout most of the final round, but he bogeyed 18 after a near-shank with his second shot.
"I felt more pressure on the front nine," Poulter said after his round on NBC. "I was nervous all day, understandably so, having not been in that position in a while, but I felt comfortable on the back nine."
Oosthuizen shot back-to-back 1-over 73s over the weekend after grabbing a share of the lead after Round 2. Oosthuizen has yet to win on U.S. soil, and he now has a runner-up finish at the British Open, Masters, U.S. Open and now the Players. He did win the 2010 British Open.
Spanish star Rafa Cabrera Bello provided a spark at the end of his round by holing his second shot for an albatross on the par-5 16th. It was just the third albatross in Players Championship history, and the first on that hole.
Cabrera Bello then went on to birdie the island green 17th to move to 6 under. With his heartbeat likely thumping out of his chest, he hooked his tee shot on 18 into the lake, but made a par putt from off the green to finish tied for fourth.
Despite starting the day tied for the lead at 9 under, Kyle Stanley struggled to get anything going, ultimately finishing tied for fourth at 6 under.
Adam Scott cruised up the leaderboard with a 4-under 32 on the back nine Sunday. Scott, who was the previous youngest golfer to win the Players, birdied 16 and 17 to get into a tie for sixth at 5 under. He did not shoot a single over-par round this week.
Brendan Steele, who shot a 4-under 68 Sunday, Lucas Glover and Francesco Molinari joined Scott at 5 under. Glover reached 8 under early in his round, but he bogeyed four of his last six holes to fall out of contention.
Alex Noren, who won three times on the European Tour last year, rounded out the top 10 at 4 under.
Unfortunately, J.B. Holmes provided a perfect example of how dangerous TPC Sawgrass can be when he shot a 12-over 84 Sunday to fall back into a tie for 41st at 3 over. Holmes, who was tied for the lead entering the final round, hit two in the water on the par-3 17th leading to a quintuple-bogey eight.
Though Kim is not yet a household name, this is the kind of victory that could jump-start his blossoming career.