Si Woo Kim rallies to win Sony Open

South Korea's Si Woo Kim brought a sleepy Sony Open to life on Sunday with a birdie-birdie finish that gave him a 6-under 64 and a one-shot victory over American Hayden Buckley.

Australian Aaron Baddeley, meanwhile, shot two weekend 65s to finish in a five-way tie for seventh, five shots off the pace, following on from his share of sixth place at Bermuda two starts ago in late October, while compatriot Adam Scott finished equal-21st after a second straight 67.

Buckley had a two-shot lead at the start of the day and was among nine players from the leading 16 going into the final round who had never won.

Kim, who started the day three shots behind, finally caught up late in the round.

But then Buckley holed a 15-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole to regain the lead, and Kim was in the group ahead of him in the rough just over the green at the par-3 17th.

Kim heard the cheer from Buckley's birdie, and then produced a moment of his own. He chipped in from just under 30 feet to tie Buckley again.

"Right before that, I heard the noise," Kim said. "It was kind of a tough lie. I had to hit it aggressive -- nothing to lose. I hit it aggressive, it goes in. It was exciting."

On the par-5 closing hole, Kim's shot from 236 yards in a fairway bunker tumbled across the dry, fast turf of Waialae Country Club and onto the green. He took two putts from 40 feet for birdie, then had to wait.

Buckley's approach from the right collar came out flat and to the right, leaving a tough pitch up the slope to the pin. It rolled out some 12 feet, and the birdie putt to force a playoff narrowly missed.

Kim won for the fourth time on the PGA Tour, finishing 18-under 262 after a 64-64 weekend, while Buckley ended with a 68.

Baddeley said he was pleased with his form after his top-10 finishes here and in Bermuda.

"My goal this week was just to get a little bit better every day, and I did that," he told PGA Tour media. "My ball hitting was pretty spot on today. I can honestly say I think I hit one shot off-line today. I haven't done that in forever.

"It was nice coming in because I didn't feel 100 per cent comfortable starting the week. I wasn't quite right. It was a good little goal to set, just to get a little bit better every day, and it was nice to do that and nice to make a few putts, and just to capitalise on some good shots."

Phoenix-based Baddeley, 41, said he had benefited from revising his swing after teaming with Florida-based coach Mike Adams in September.

"He just really simplified my game and my swing and just made it where it was just really making sure my set-up is in the right spot," he said.

Scott said his tournament was "fairly solid stuff without anything really happening for me", adding he hadn't practised since early December.

"I tried to take a bit of a break and came to (Hawaii) underdone, and I think I'm just starting to get warmed up now," he said.