Out of Bounds: Winning on Kim at 100/1 and a 7,638/1 Major treble

South Korean had shown no form coming into the Players but was always one to watch

My friend shook his head when the topic of Si Woo Kim came up, after the new kid on the block – just 21 years of age but possessing a swing to die for and seemingly immune from any mental pressures – came up trumps in the Players, the unofficial ‘fifth Major’.

“I bet no one had him backed,” he said with a wistful look, although it has emerged that a number of punters had put their money where their mouths were in backing the South Korean at odds of 400/1 and 500/1 according to some media reports.

As it happened, I also had a few cents on Kim, but only at odds of 100/1 – and that was punting before the event but not on an exchange – which, even at that price, nonetheless brought some satisfaction. A win is a win is a win, which is what brings a little bit of sunshine into all our lives.

Why Kim?


For sure, his pre-Players form was not anything to write home about and, if anything, should have deterred anyone from putting any money on him. The Players was Kim’s 15th appearance of the year and, up to Sawgrass, his results were a series of high finishes or not finishing at all. In fact, he’d withdrawn from three tournaments after poor opening rounds – the highest being an 83 in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines – and also missed the cut in another six.

As it happened, Kim’s best result this year prior to his dominant display at The Players had come with a tied-22nd finish in the Valero Texas Open last month before missing the cut in his last outing at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

Yet, despite such form, he was always worth keeping an eye – and a few cents – on purely because he is a player out of the norm.

Kim, let’s recall, earned his PGA Tour card before he could actually use it. He was 17, with a legal age limit of 18 for a professional on the US Tour. That was back in 2012, when he finished 20th in the PGA Tour Q-School. To be exact, he was 17 years five months and six days at the time, the youngest player ever to graduate from a tournament which has been described as a torture chamber by those who have sought to get a card through that route. Indeed, that Q-School has since been abandoned, so Kim got there just in time.

His appearances on the PGA Tour were delayed until he turned 18 but there would be no fireworks when Kim finally got on the road. He missed the cut seven times and withdrew once in his eight appearances in the 2013 season although an indication that he had game came with his play on the 2014 web.com Tour when he made 15 of 19 cuts.

In 2015, he won his first professional tournament – the Stonebrae Classic on the web.com Tour – to become the second youngest player ever to win on that secondary circuit. The youngest, by the way, was Jason Day. At the end of that 2015 season, he was 10th on the web.com order of merit which earned him a full tour card. Last year, he showed his class with a breakthrough PGA Tour win, in the Wyndham Championship.

So, he was very much on our radar, and one worth following, through bad times and good. And, so it came to pass that young Mr Kim came up trumps at the Players. The next step, of course, is to do it at the next level up, the Majors. His time will come.

As for the remaining Majors of the season, what's on the betting agenda? Well, keeping in mind that it is all about "fun and entertaining" which is how basketball legend Michael Jordan described his fondness for the odd bet, a treble on Kevin Chappell (66/1 at the US Open), Rickie Fowler (18/1 at the British Open) and Rory McIlroy (5/1 at the US PGA) would come in at 7,638/1. Here's hoping for my euro.