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S. Korean Kim Si-woo earns fourth career PGA Tour win in Hawaii

Jan. 16, 2023 - 10:35 By Yonhap
Kim Si-woo plays his shot from the second tee during the final round of the Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club on Aug.17,2021 in Greensboro, North Carolina. (AFP)

South Korean Kim Si-woo has collected his fourth career victory on the PGA Tour in Hawaii, rallying from a three-shot deficit to find the winner's circle.

Kim shot an 18-under 262 to win the Sony Open in Hawaii at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Sunday. With a final round of six-under 64, Kim held off Hayden Buckley of the United States by one stroke.

Kim, world No. 84, began the final round three shots off the lead held by Buckley. But Kim was clutch down the stretch Sunday, with birdies on each of the final two holes, for his first title in two years.

Kim, 27, is the second South Korean to win in the 2022-23 season, joining Kim Joo-hyung at the Shriners Children's Open in October.

Kim, playing in a group ahead of Buckley, started his day with three straight birdies and then went bogey-birdie-bogey-birdie over the last four holes on the front nine. He made the turn at 15-under, one behind Buckley.

Buckley birdied the first hole but then picked up nine consecutive pars to cling to a one-shot lead. He then committed his first bogey of the day on the 11th hole to drop to 15-under, momentarily tied with Kim.

Kim stood on the 12th fairway as Buckley blinked first. The South Korean then put his second shot about 10 feet below the hole and drained the putt for a birdie that gave him a one-shot advantage at 16-under.

Then a seesaw match ensued between Kim and Buckley.

Buckley birdied the 12th hole to pull even with Kim at 16-under. Kim picked up three straight pars from 13th to 15th, while Buckley reclaimed his one-shot lead at 17-under with a 28-foot birdie putt at the 14th.

The battle took a stunning turn on the 15th green, where Buckley missed a three-foot par attempt and dropped back into a tie with Kim at 16-under.

The two players then traded key strokes down the stretch. Buckley drained a 16-foot birdie putt at the 16th to briefly grab the lead at 17-under. Moments later, Kim chipped in for a birdie from behind the 17th green, drawing level with Buckley at 17-under.

Kim found a bunker off the tee at the 18th but reached the green with his second shot. From about 42 feet below the cup, Kim two-putted for an easy birdie to take the clubhouse lead at 18-under.

As Kim waited for a potential playoff, Buckley left his second shot at the 18th short of the green. After a mediocre chip, he missed an 11-foot birdie putt that would have set up a playoff.

Kim's 64 was tied for the low round of Sunday.

This was Kim's first victory since marrying a fellow golfer, seven-time Korea LPGA winner Oh Ji-hyun, in December. Oh traveled with Kim to Honolulu. (Yonhap)