Kim sets mark at Players

Kim becomes the second player from South Korea to win the tournament, joining K.J. Choi in 2011.

"Because of that experience", Kim said of his previous win, "I could be relieved and I could be very stable".

"So that kind of advice actually helped me a lot". "That's why I could do well".

Kim saved that for the trophy presentation, when he realized he had beaten the deepest and strongest field in golf, and all the rewards that come with it.

Kim, who doesn't celebrate his 22nd birthday until June 28, said: "I didn't expect that I could be the champion of this tournament at this young age".

"For me, to have played well last week and locked up everything in America has now freed my summer up and meant I can come back and play in some of the big events in Europe, which I'm really looking forward to", said Poulter.

Ian Poulter hopes to use his second place in the Players Championship as a "stepping stone" for the rest of the season after making the most of his second chance at Sawgrass.

On top of the financial windfall, Kim also received a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour and a three-year exemption to the Masters.

The smart money, if an worldwide player overtook American co-leaders J.B. Holmes and Kyle Stanley, was on veterans such as Poulter, Oosthuizen, Adam Scott (the previous youngest victor, at 23 in 2004) or Masters champion Sergio Garcia.

While it's very impressive that Kim won his first PGA event at TPC Sawgrass, what's more mind-boggling is that he finished the Tour's Q School by age 17. That card effectively went to waste, and Kim spent the next two years on the developmental tour until earning his card back to the big leagues.

Poulter's tie for second was his best result at THE PLAYERS since he finished runner-up alone behind victor Henrik Stenson in 2009, as well as his best result on the PGA TOUR since he finished second at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions on November 3, 2013.

Even when he hit a few bumps by landing in the pine straw or a bunker, Kim's poise was unflappable. He pushed his approach to the 18th so far to the right that it caromed off hospitality tents and bounced off a cart path into a palmetto bush. At the 18th, Poulter shanked his second into the trees and after a penalty drop, improbably hit his next from 115 yards away (in the pine straw) to 12 inches. May.

The bogey on the 18th was only the second for Poulter over the final 46 of the tournament.

"I know he hit a couple of incredible shots yesterday to get himself out of trouble. but he's gone clean out there today, which is extremely impressive under that pressure".

Kim, who finished at 10-under 278, earned the $1.89 million first prize. He came to the perilous par-3 17th with a two-shot lead, calmly found the middle of the green and two-putted and then he played a solid drive down the centre of the 18th fairway. Rafa Cabrera Bello of Spain (70) tied for fourth at 282, four strokes behind Kim.

  • Julie Sanders