Dallas resident Si Woo Kim shot a six-under-par (64) final round to come from behind and win the PGA Tour’s Sony Open on Sunday at the Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Kim came from three strokes behind entering the final round to win by a single stroke over Hayden Buckley, who held a two-shot lead over the rest of the field entering the day.
Buckley played well on Sunday, but a series of par putts throughout the day opened the door for Kim. Kim caught up a couple of times late in the round, but Buckley regained the lead after a birdie putt on the 16th hole.
The two were in separate groups for the day, so Kim was playing ahead of Buckley on the 17th hole when it happened. Kim heard the uproar and knew he had to continue to convert himself if he wanted to have a chance to win.
As the announcers commented on the pressure Kim was now facing, he calmly sunk a 30-foot chip shot for a birdie to tie things up again.
“Right before that, I heard the noise,” Kim said of the moment. “It was kind of a tough lie. I had to hit it aggressive[ly] — nothing to lose. I hit it aggressive[ly], it goes in. It was exciting.”
Kim then birdied again on the final hole to go to -18 for the weekend, and Buckley missed a 12-foot putt that would have forced a playoff to determine the winner.
“Winning on the PGA Tour is the hardest thing to do, and sometimes you just get beat,” said Buckley after the tournament. “And I feel like that’s what happened today. Overall, I was impressed by what I did, and I think I’ll remember this day and it’ll just make me better.”
Buckley finished in second place with a -17 on the weekend, two strokes better than third-place finisher Chris Kirk.
The win was Kim’s first on the Tour in two years and his fourth overall. It also qualifies him for the Masters Tournament in April.