Kim's late birdie seals victory at the Sony Open

Kim’s late birdie seals victory at the Sony Open

South Korea’s Kim Si-woo produced an impressive birdie-birdie finish to snatch a one-shot victory at the PGA Tour’s Sony Open in Hawaii on Sunday.

The 27-year-old from Seoul captured his fourth career PGA Tour title, and first in two years, after posting a second straight 6-under 64 at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu.

Kim’s closing final round saw him outpoint third round leader Hayden Buckley, who had been chasing his first title on tour.

A seesaw finish saw Kim and Buckley match up shot for shot, with little choice between the two players and the possibility of a tiebreaker looming.

Buckley looked poised for victory after a birdie putt on 16th saw him move to 17-under-par for a one-stroke lead.

But Kim, who was playing in the front pack, hit back moments later to regain a piece of the lead after a brilliant run from 27 feet.

The Korean was in no mood to cede the lead and conjured another moment of magic on the par five of 18 to take sole possession of the lead at 18 under par.

After finding a bunker on the fairway with his tee shot, Kim blasted an excellent iron from the sand onto the green for a long eagle shot.

He hit a perfectly weighted putt just right to set up a tap-in for birdie.

That added to the pressure on Buckley, who could only pare on 17th, meaning he would need to birdie the last one to force a playoff.

Buckley, who had eagled the same hole on Saturday, struggled off the tee, found the right rough on the fairway and then his second came up short on the green.

His chip rolled 12 feet beyond the hole, leaving him with an awkward birdie putt that duly missed to finish at a 2-under 68, leaving him at 17-under with a total of 263 over 72 holes.

Kim, who started day three off the pace, said patience had been the key to his round.

“I did the best I could on every shot, trying to be confident and stay calm,” said Kim, who admitted she had heard the roars from the ranges after Buckley took the lead on the 16th with his birdie.

“I heard the noise. I knew I had to hit him aggressively, nothing to lose, so I just hit him and he went in,” Kim said of his chip-in.

Chris Kirk finished in third place, three off the lead at 15 under par, after a closing 68, while three players – Andrew Putnam, David Lipsky and England’s Ben Taylor – tied for fourth at 14 under par.

Aaron Baddeley of Australia and Nick Taylor of Canada were among a group of five players tied for seventh at 13-under.

rcw/severe

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