Si Woo Kim battled all day from a three-shot deficit within the Sony Open, and when he lastly caught up late Sunday afternoon, it solely received more durable.
His seven-iron to the par-three seventeenth bounded over the agency inexperienced and into a tricky patch of grass within the tough. Behind, he may hear the cheering for Hayden Buckley making birdie on the sixteenth gap to regain the lead in Honolulu.
Suddenly, a tricky chip received simpler.
“Nothing to lose,” Kim mentioned.
With an aggressive stroke, Kim chipped in from 30 toes to tie Buckley, after which he received the Sony Open with a five-iron out of the bunker from 236 yards that bounced alongside the dry grass and onto the inexperienced, organising a two-putt birdie from 40 toes and a six-under 64.
Buckley missed a 12-foot birdie on the par-five closing gap that will have compelled a playoff.
The end introduced a sleepy Sony Open to life and gave the 27-year-old South Korean his fourth profession PGA Tour victory, and first in two years.
SI WOO HIM 🔥 <br><br>An unbelievable chip-in from Si Woo Kim answering <a href=”https://twitter.com/hbuckley13?ref_src=twsrcpercent5Etfw”>@HBuckley13</a>’s birdie <a href=”https://twitter.com/SonyOpenHawaii?ref_src=twsrcpercent5Etfw”>@SonyOpenHawaii</a>. <a href=”https://t.co/0cgRc3cfKD”>pic.twitter.com/0cgRc3cfKD</a>
Buckley, who began the ultimate spherical with a two-shot lead, was amongst 9 of the main 16 gamers going into Sunday who had by no means received on the PGA Tour. He did his half apart from a pair of quick par putts that he missed on the again 9. He closed with a 68.
“Winning on the PGA Tour is the toughest factor to do, and typically you simply get beat,” Buckley mentioned. “And I really feel like that is what occurred at present.”
Kim opened with three straight birdies to get again within the combine, and he stayed there your complete day as different contenders got here and went.
The pivotal level got here on the seventeenth. And as a lot stress as Kim felt over the shot, Buckley’s 15-foot birdie putt and the response appeared to calm him.
“If he made a par, like I’m extra nervous as a result of I’ve to avoid wasting [par], and particularly into the grain with the stress, it is extra nervous for me,” Kim mentioned. “But I knew it. I heard the sounds.”
One shot behind, he felt it was birdie or bust.
“Bogey is ok,” he mentioned. “So I’ve to hit it aggressive. I feel that actually helps.”
He pumped his first when it dropped for birdie, an enormous second, however not sufficient for him to react the way in which he did on the Presidents Cup when his companion, Tom Kim, made an enormous putt to win a fourballs match.”
“If I used to be enjoying with him I positively would do this,” Kim mentioned with amusing. “But this extra stroke play and he [Buckley] remains to be behind me. I needed to, however I simply stored calm.”
The second Si Woo Kim discovered he had received <a href=”https://twitter.com/SonyOpenHawaii?ref_src=twsrcpercent5Etfw”>@SonyOpenHawaii</a> 🏆 <a href=”https://t.co/X1394nfrNn”>pic.twitter.com/X1394nfrNn</a>
Kim, who received married a month in the past in South Korea, completed at 18-under 262 and is assured two weeks in Hawaii subsequent yr, as defending champion within the Sony Open and the Sentry Tournament of Champions at Kapalua.
More instantly, the victory assures him a spot within the Masters.
Buckley, who as soon as shot a 61 at a school occasion on Kauai that satisfied him he would possibly attempt to play golf for a residing, moved as much as No. 14 within the FedEx Cup in an enormous yr through which solely the highest 70 attain the post-season.
He was in cheap form off the tee on the par-five closing gap, however his method from the precise collar of the tough got here out flat and to the precise, leaving a tricky pitch up the slope to a pin within the again proper. It rolled out some 12 toes, and the birdie putt to power a playoff narrowly missed.
Buckley made 9 straight pars after opening with a birdie, after which had a six-shot stretch on the again 9 of 1 par, two bogeys and three birdies. His two bogeys got here on putts of 5 toes and simply inside 4 toes, and he did not birdie the 2 par 5s at Waialae.
“I really feel like I made a number of these lengthy putts, however I struggled on the quick ones. That was relationship again to Thursday,” Buckley mentioned. “That actually simply caught as much as me on the finish. I really feel like I had management of the event just about the entire means, however only a late miss on 15 from 3 or 4 toes actually damage.
“Overall, I used to be impressed by what I did, and I feel I’ll bear in mind today and it will simply make me higher.”
Chris Kirk had a 68 and completed alone in third.
Nick Taylor of Abbotsford, B.C., completed 5 photographs again, tied for seventh, whereas Corey Conners of Listowel, Ont., completed tied for twelfth at 12-under.
Adam Svensson of Surrey, B.C., completed tied for forty first at eight-under.
WATCH | Svensson hits hole-in-one in 2nd spherical:
B.C.’s Svensson hits hole-in-one at Sony Open in Hawaii
It was the second straight week in Hawaii that somebody rallied from at the least three photographs behind to win, although it wasn’t practically as beautiful as Jon Rahm coming from six again with 9 holes to play at Kapalua in opposition to Collin Morikawa.
“It all the time can occur quick, like final week,” Kim mentioned. “I attempted my finest each shot. It was just a little shaky the final 4 holes.”
He missed the inexperienced on the seventeenth, and he missed the golf green on the 18th, two locations that make birdies arduous to search out. Kim discovered them and walked away as a winner.