Fairways And Roughs Title

Si Woo Remains Right At Home On Big Stage

By PGA Tour News
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ERIN, Wis. – At times on Friday at the U.S. Open Si Woo Kim showed a passionate temperament but for the most part THE PLAYERS Champion looked as cool as a cucumber in the Wisconsin heat. If you thought this 21-year-old Korean was a flash in the pan it appears you might need to rethink. Kim backed up his opening 69 with a solid 70 at Erin Hills to sit at 5-under for the championship, well and truly in the mix for another huge trophy. Not far removed from his dismantling of TPC Sawgrass, Kim showed a steely focus as he stalked his way through these rolling former farmlands in his very first U.S. Open and just third major championship. It took one extremely vocal Korean fan yelling encouragement in his native tongue to break the glass eyed stare and concentration, but after a quick smile and a wave it was back to business. It was the same story after the odd disappointing shot or putt. Kim would release his tension with a putter flip or he would pretend to want to snap a club in two… but within seconds his focus returned. “He doesn’t hold anything in,” caddie Marc Carens admits. “He gets it out and then he is always ready for the next shot, which is great. “His game seems to get better every week. It continues to evolve.” Despite being a winner at the 2016 Wyndham Championship his PLAYERS victory still caught many by surprise. The main reason is a continued battle with back problems. And added to that was an ankle complaint which saw him withdraw from the Memorial Tournament during the second round recently. But as his health improves, so does his confidence. Kim currently sits seventh on the International Team standings for the Presidents Cup at Liberty National later this year. He’s hoping to solidify his place with another big week at Erin Hills. Captain Nick Price has already endorsed him as an up and coming talent who he hopes can help end the American stranglehold on the biennial event. “THE PLAYERS gave me a lot of confidence,” Kim said. “I’d love to make the Presidents Cup team and hopefully I can continue to play well this week and the rest of the year. “I just have to keep doing what I’m doing.” Another to approve of his potential place in the team is 2013 and 2015 International player Marc Leishman who was paired with Kim over the opening two rounds at Erin Hills. “His emotions might still be a bit raw but his game certainly isn’t,” Leishman said. “He certainly has plenty of game and could be a great addition to the International team. “It really seems like he has a handle on playing under pressure, I guess THE PLAYERS proved that.” Should Kim go on and win this week he would become just the fifth player to win a major in the same year as his PLAYERS title and just the second behind Martin Kaymer (2014) to win THE PLAYERS and the U.S. Open in the same season. “I feel confident but still nervous,” he admits as he heads to the weekend. “But the key will be much of the same and some better putting. Hopefully I can make some more putts and then we will see.”

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