17 April, 2018, 12:00 am
JAPAN Satoshi Kodaira birdied the third extra hole to beat South Korean Kim Si-woo 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 24-foot 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 seven-foot 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.”