Satoshi Kodaira birdied the third extra hole to defeat Si Woo Kim in a playoff and win the RBC Heritage. Here’s how play wrapped up early Sunday at Hilton Head.
Leaderboard: Kodaira (-12), Kim (-12), Bryson DeChambeau (-11), Luke List (-11) Webb Simpson (-10)
What it means: This is Kodaira’s first PGA Tour win and it comes in his sixth start of the season as a non-member. The 46th-ranked player in the world is a six-time winner in Japan who tied for 28th last week at the Masters. In the field as a result of his top-50 status, Kodaira made seven birdies and two bogeys to post 12 under par and then watched from the clubhouse as Kim faltered in regulation. Following pars on the first two playoff holes, Kodaira raced in a birdie putt on the third extra hole – the par-3 17th – to earn his first PGA Tour victory. With the win, he earns a two-year exemption and invitations to the Players, the PGA Championship and next year’s Masters. He is already qualified for the Open Championship and his world ranking will also be enough to get him into the U.S Open.
Best of the rest: One back to start the day, Kim raced ahead with three birdies on a bogey-free first nine. But Kim walked to 18 having lost his lead after a bogey at the par-3 17th, his third of the back nine. He missed putts from 4, 5, 7 and 6 feet over his last four holes, including a birdie putt on 18 at that would’ve given him the win.
Round of the day: English teed off on the back and made the turn in 1 under par before catching fire on the front, his second nine. He birdied No. 1 and added four in a row on Nos. 5-8 through to shoot 6-under 65 and finish T-31 at 5 under for the week.
Best of the rest: Kodaira, DeChambeau and Dominic Bozzelli all posted 5-under 66. DeChambeau held the 36-hole before an early triple bogey set him back Saturday. DeChambeau played his last six holes with two bogeys and four straight birdies to finish a stroke out of the playoff.
Biggest disappointment: Poulter entered Sunday with his second 54-hole lead in three weeks, but another victory proved too large an ask for a red-hot-but-tired Poulter. One under on his round at the turn, Poulter made five back-nine bogeys to fall out of contention.