Si Woo Kim of South Korea took charge on the front nine, kept his cool down the stretch and closed with a 3-under-par 69 to finish at 10 under par for a three-shot victory on Sunday at The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
After his victory in the Wyndham Championship last year, Kim is the fourth player in the last 25 years to win twice on the PGA Tour before the age of 22, following in the footsteps of Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia and Jordan Spieth.
Victory at TPC Sawgrass - regarded as golf's unofficial fifth major - won't exempt Kim but it does guarantee him five years on the US PGA Tour, as well as starts at the next three Masters, US Open and British Open.
Another major championship victor, former Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen, made two of his own and then there was 54-hole co-leader J.B. Holmes, who made two sixes, an eight on the par-3 17th and went from tied for the lead to start the day to a T-41 finish with his final-round 84.
You might think after winning The Players Championship, especially after winning the championship as the youngest player ever, you'd be ready to go big and celebrate.
"I'm very excited to play at the Presidents Cup", the South Korean said. "So it is nice to see it fill it up again and feel like I'm not touching the bottom". He ended the tournament tied for second and picked up nearly $1 million in prize money. "And he played like someone that was doing it for five or six years like it was just another round of golf". Kim jumped up in the money list from 114th to 13th as a result.
He had already notched a maiden U.S. tour win at last year's Wyndham Championship.
Less than a month ago Poulter thought he had lost his full playing status on the PGA Tour after failing to earn enough points in a designated number of tournaments this season after returning from a foot injury that curtailed his 2016 campaign.
Kim's triumph saw him replace Australia's Adam Scott as the youngest ever victor of the Players Championship, which is regarded as golf's unofficial fifth major. Kim, who has been dealing with a nagging wrist injury, also withdrew from three tournaments this year after opening rounds of 83, 81 and 76.
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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 U.S. dollars (£269,755) to remain fully exempt.
"The last 18 months have been really miserable but I grew in confidence as the afternoon went on, and now I want to build on it and get back to the top of the game", Poulter told reporters after Sunday's round.
Rafa Cabrera Bello hit 8-iron that bounded off the side of a bunker and into the cup for an albatross 2 on the par-5 16th.
He was given a reprieve until the end of the season and made the most of it at Sawgrass, finishing three shots behind champion Kim Si-woo to post his best finish since November 2014.
Even though he was eight shots out of the lead, it was his best finish at The Players Championship.
Through the first nine holes on Sunday, Kim was 3-under par. He followed that with birdie on 17, then holed a long par putt from just off the 18th green.
"I really wish I could be a good example of the Korean men's player", Kim said.
The other co-leader was J.B. Holmes, and it was a horror show for the Kentuckian.