Welcome to the May Pro Golf Wrap-Up – everything you need to know in the world of golf expertly curated by your friends at Global Golf Management.
The highlight of the May portion of the PGA TOUR schedule is the TOUR’s flagship event, The Players, at TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. It seldom disappoints, and this year was no exception as Si Woo Kim of South Korea became the youngest winner in the 44-year history of the tournament with a gritty final-round performance.
Kim, 21, the youngest player on TOUR, made a series of par saves down the stretch and shot a bogey-free 3-under 69 in the final round for a three-stroke victory over Ian Poulter and Louis Oosthuizen. He finished at 10-under 278 and made just one bogey on the weekend. It was his second career victory, having won the Wyndham Championship last year.
“Usually I’m very nervous,” Kim said after winning the $1.89 million first prize, “but last year I won one of the tournaments and I (got) the two years of exemption. Because of that I can play aggressively and I wasn’t that nervous this year.
Kim’s win was one of several surprises on the TOUR in the last few weeks. Billy Horschel won the AT&T Byron Nelson championship to end a winless drought dating to the 2014 TOUR Championship. Horschel beat former world No. 1 Jason Day in a playoff after Day three-putted the first extra hole.
This was after missing the cut in his previous four starts. The two men tied at 12-under 268 after Horschel shot a 1-under 69 and Day a 68 at TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas.
Brian Harman ended the winning streak of world No. 1 Dustin Johnson when he sank a 20-foot birdie putt to capture the Wells Fargo Championship for his second PGA TOUR victory. Harman, a left-hander from the University of Georgia, finished at 10-under 278 after a closing 68 at Eagle Point Golf Club in Wilmington, N.C. Johnson finished a stroke behind after shooting his second straight 67, quite a rally that came up just short.
The month ended with Kevin Kisner also winning for the second time in his career, taking the DEAN & Deluca Invitational at prestigious Colonial Country Club by holding off defending champion Jordan Spieth.
Kisner shot a 4-under 66 to finish at 10-under 270 to beat Spieth, Sean O’Hair and Jon Rahm by one stroke. Spieth shot a bogey-free 65 to make things interesting, while Rahm and O’Hair were nearly as good with 66s. But Kisner got up and down from the back of the green and made a 5-foot putt for the victory.
On the LPGA Tour, Shanshan Feng, Sei Young Kim and Lexi Thompson were May champions.
Feng fired a 4-under-par 68 to capture the second LPGA Volvik Championship, beating Minjee Lee and Sung Hyun Park by one stroke at Travis Point Country Club in Ann Arbor, Mich. Despite a bogey on the last, Feng finished with a 19-under 269 for her seventh career title.
“Very happy that I can actually prove to the fans in the U.S. that I can actually win here,” Feng said after winning in the U.S. for the first time in nearly four years.
Sei Young Kim wore the winner’s sombrero at the revamped Lorena Ochoa Match Play after defeating World No. 1 Ariya Jutanugarn on the 18th green, 1 up, at Club de Golf Mexico in Mexico City.
Kim’s road to the final match included victories over Maude-Aimee LeBlanc, Danielle Kang, Charley Hull, Karine Icher and Hur. “It was a really tough day today,” Kim said. “I never had such a hard win like today. I am happy that I was able to win and hold this trophy.”
Perhaps the most emotional victory of the month belonged to Lexi Thompson.
A 20-under 264 total led to a convincing victory at the Kingsmill Championship at the River Course at Kingsmill Resort, giving her a redemptive victory in Kingsmill, Va., after she lost the year’s first women’s major, the ANA Championship, because of a controversial ruling that led to a four-stroke penalty.
Thompson, 22, shot a closing 65 to win by five strokes over In Gee Chun. Angela Stanford was nine strokes back in third place.
Stay tuned here and on Global Golf Management Twitter for next month’s Pro Golf Wrap-Up.