Sports

Korean Si Woo Kim makes a statement for Asian golf

A correspondent La Quinta | Updated on January 25, 2021 Published on January 25, 2021

He claimed a dramatic one-shot victory over a fast-charging Patrick Cantlay at The American Express. It earned him his third PGA TOUR title and ended a four-year winless run.

Korea’s Si Woo Kim made a strong statement for Asian golf, as he claimed a dramatic one-shot victory over a fast-charging Patrick Cantlay at The American Express. It earned him his third PGA TOUR title and ended a four-year winless run.

The 25-year-old closed with a superb 8-under 64 at PGA West Stadium Course which included pivotal birdies on Hole Nos. 16 and 17 from four feet and 19 feet respectively to overhaul Cantlay, who had set the clubhouse mark at 21-under following a blistering course record 61.

Australian Cameron Davis finished third for his career best result on TOUR after a closing 64 while American Tony Finau, one of the overnight leaders with Kim and Max Homa, settled for fourth place following a 68.

Two other Koreans Byeong Hun An (69) and Sungjae Im (69) also had fine finishes after making their presence felt earlier in the week. An was Tied-8th and Im finished T-12.

Also read: Small errors cost Lahiri big, misses cut as Korea’s Im leads on PGA TOUR

This week India’s Anirban Lahiri missed the cut despite a superb start of 68 on first day. He shot 73 on second day and missed the cut by one.

Kim, who has had several Top-10 finishes including a runner-up finish at 2018 RBC Heritage, maintained his cool despite a jam-packed leaderboard. He kept the bogeys off his card for a third time this week and made birdies on Hole Nos. 4, 5, 7, 8, 10 and 11 to stay in the title chase before producing a glorious finish to pip World No. 10 Cantlay.

Coincidently, Kim’s last victory at the 2017 PLAYERS Championship, the TOUR’s flagship tournament, was at the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass, which designer Pete Dye also designed the Stadium Course at PGA West here in La Quinta, California.

“I had many chances since PLAYERS but I couldn’t make it. Finally I made it. I tried to keep my composure and I made it. I’m so happy,” said Kim, who totalled 23-under 265 and moved up to ninth place on the FedExCup points list with his victory.

“When I had the chance to win (previously), I didn’t play very well. I had a lot of ups and downs as I tried to play aggressive and that actually made me lose. My coach (Claude Harmon) talked to me about it a lot and even this week, he told me there will be chances anytime and to keep waiting and be patient, keep composure, and believe in yourself. That’s what I tried to do.”

Cantlay, who won the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP last October, sank a career-high 11 birdies to set a new course record by two shots but came up just shy of a fourth PGA TOUR victory.

Sunday’s victory made Kim the Korean with the second-most wins after trailblazer K.J. Choi, who holds eight PGA TOUR victories.

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

Published on January 25, 2021
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor