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Korea's Kim earns thrilling one-shot win at The American Express

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La Quinta (California), Jan 25 (IANS) Korea’s Si Woo Kim claimed a dramatic one-shot victory over a fast-charging Patrick Cantlay at The American Express, earning his third PGA Tour title to end a four-year winless run.

The 25-year-old on Sunday 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.

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Kim maintained his cool despite a jam-packed leaderboard and kept the bogeys off his card for a third time this week. He 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.

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“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,” he added.

After making a two-putt birdie on the par 5, 16th hole to tie Cantlay, Kim seized his moment at the par 3, 17th hole by draining a long effort to snatch the outright lead before holding on to victory with a regulation par at the last hole.

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

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–IANS

aak/

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