Kodaira claims first PGA Tour win with victory at RBC Heritage

Japanese player beats South Korean Si-Woo Kim with birdie on third playoff hole

 Satoshi Kodaira claiming his maiden PGA Tour victory after beating  Si Woo Kim  at Harbour Town golf links in South Carolina. Photograph: Tyler Lecka/Getty Images

Satoshi Kodaira claiming his maiden PGA Tour victory after beating Si Woo Kim at Harbour Town golf links in South Carolina. Photograph: Tyler Lecka/Getty Images

 

Japan’s Satoshi Kodaira birdied the third extra hole to beat South Korean Si-Woo Kim in a playoff at the RBC Heritage in South Carolina on Sunday and earn his first PGA Tour win.

After each player parred the 18th hole twice to start the playoff, it was Kodaira who drained a 24ft birdie putt at the par-three 17th at Harbour Town on Hilton Head Island to secure the biggest win of his career.

Kodaira, who began the day six shots behind overnight leader Ian Poulter, mixed seven birdies with three bogeys in regulation for a five-under 66 that left him at 12 under and set the stage for his first PGA Tour win in only his sixth start.

“This is what I was dreaming about,” Kodaira, who tied for 28th at last week’s US Masters, said through a translator. “I didn’t think it would come this quickly.”

Kim was cruising along after making three front-nine birdies, but struggled with his putter over a dismal closing stretch that included a trio of bogeys over a six-hole stretch, the last coming at the par-three 17th.

Kim, who won his third PGA Tour title last year at The Players Championship, still had a chance to secure the win in regulation but failed to convert a 7ft putt at the par-four 18th.

“I felt like I had a lot of chances to win, especially on the back nine, and with none of them falling it kind of set me back and also made me nervous,” Kim said through a translator. “I wish some of those putts would have dropped.”

Luke List (72) could have been in the playoff but missed a 10ft birdie putt at the last and settled for a share of third with Bryson DeChambeau (66).

DeChambeau, who held the halfway lead but imploded in the third round to sit seven shots back, mixed two bogeys with seven birdies, including one at each of the final four holes.

Englishman Poulter, competing in his sixth PGA Tour event in as many weeks, ran out of gas on the back nine as he carded five bogeys over an eight-hole stretch en route to a four-over 75 that left him three shots back.

World number one Dustin Johnson (67) carded his lowest round of the week but it was too little, too late as he finished seven under and five shots back.

The final round ended much earlier than usual as tee times were pushed ahead and players went off split tees in threes in a bid to avoid afternoon thunderstorms that were expected.

Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell, a former winner of the tournament, carded a one-under 70 in his final round to finish his week on level par.

FINAL SCORES (USA unless stated, par 71):

272 Satoshi Kodaira (Jpn) 73 63 70 66, Si Woo Kim (Kor) 68 65 68 71. Kodaira won at the third extra playoff hole

273 Luke List 70 64 67 72, Bryson DeChambeau 68 64 75 66

274 Billy Horschel 66 69 67 72, Webb Simpson 69 68 69 68

275 Bill Haas 69 66 71 69, Byeong-Hun An (Kor) 73 67 66 69, Ian Poulter (Eng) 69 64 67 75, Chesson Hadley 66 68 69 72, Patrick Cantlay 67 72 68 68, Kevin Kisner 69 68 66 72, Kevin Streelman 70 70 67 68

276 Jonas Blixt (Swe) 67 73 67 69, Matthew Fitzpatrick (Eng) 69 71 69 67

277 Dustin Johnson 69 69 72 67, Emiliano Grillo (Arg) 72 66 69 70, J.J. Henry 72 69 69 67, Ted Potter, Jr. 72 66 69 70, Beau Hossler 70 69 70 68, Scott Piercy 71 65 71 70, Ryan Moore 69 69 67 72

278 Bud Cauley 71 68 71 68, Rory Sabbatini (Rsa) 64 70 70 74, Charley Hoffman 72 69 66 71, Cheng-Tsung Pan (Tai) 70 65 67 76, Matt Kuchar 66 70 69 73, Brian Harman 70 68 69 71, Tyrone Van Aswegen (Rsa) 73 69 66 70, John Huh 66 74 69 69, Brandt Snedeker 70 64 72 72

279 Nick Watney 68 72 70 69, Cameron Smith (Aus) 68 68 74 69, Xander Schauffele 68 68 71 72, Lucas Glover 74 65 67 73, Rod Pampling (Aus) 72 70 67 70, Martin Laird (Sco) 67 69 70 73, Dylan Frittelli (Rsa) 72 68 67 72, Harris English 67 73 74 65

280 Dominic Bozzelli 70 72 72 66, Russell Knox (Sco) 70 72 68 70

281 Michael Thompson 74 65 71 71, Wesley Bryan 69 71 71 70, Zach Johnson 70 70 71 70, Ollie Schniederjans 73 69 68 71, Andrew Landry 69 68 69 75, Stewart Cink 70 70 70 71, Brice Garnett 68 68 72 73

282 Francesco Molinari (Ita) 73 69 69 71

283 Doc Redman (am) 71 71 69 72, Whee Kim (Kor) 68 68 71 76, Austin Cook 71 68 72 72, Jonathan Byrd 71 71 68 73, Fabian Gomez (Arg) 68 71 71 73

284 Chris Kirk 70 70 70 74, Graeme McDowell (NI) 73 69 72 70, Scott Stallings 74 68 71 71, Matt Every 73 66 70 75, Tom Hoge 70 67 71 76, Charles Howell III 68 67 73 76, Ben Martin 74 68 73 69, Danny Lee (Nzl) 69 66 70 79, Aaron Baddeley (Aus) 73 69 70 72, Ryan Armour 71 71 69 73, Keith Mitchell 71 71 73 69, Kyung Ju Choi (Kor) 69 70 72 73

285 Brian Stuard 69 68 75 73, Peter Malnati 68 70 73 74, Kevin Tway 71 71 70 73

286 Jim Furyk 70 70 73 73, Brian Gay 71 71 71 73, William McGirt 71 70 71 74

288 Martin Kaymer (Ger) 69 73 72 74

289 Davis Love III 73 69 74 73, David Lingmerth (Swe) 71 71 73 74

290 Ryan Palmer 73 65 74 78

292 Michael Kim 76 66 76 74

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