Pros advice

Kodaira makes PGA Tour breakthrough at Hilton Head

Powered by National Club Golfer

Japan's Satoshi Kodaira got the better of Si Woo Kim in a playoff at Harbour Town to win the RBC Heritage.

What happened at the RBC Heritage?

This really shouldn’t be a surprise, but it feels like one. Satoshi Kodaira is ranked inside the world’s top 50, has won seven times as a professional, and finished 28th at The Masters only last week.

Despite this, many probably haven’t heard of him. This is a player that has established himself as one of the best on the Japan Golf Tour but has only made fleeting appearances in majors and WGC events.

In truth, when the Japanese finished up his round on Sunday, he would have probably been happy with his 66 to surge through the field but making a playoff would’ve been at the back of his mind. He only needed a top-10 finish to get an exemption in next week’s Valero Texas Open – that was more than likely the goal at the start of the day.

But when the leader, Si Woo Kim, started to falter in the testing afternoon conditions, the probability of winning outright started to increase. The Korean had a two-shot lead at one stage, but last year’s Players champion missed putts of four, seven, five and six feet over the last four holes to finish up tied with the clubhouse leader Kodaira, sending the tournament to extra holes.

The two traded pars at the first two holes, but when Kodaira rammed in a 20-footer for birdie at the 17th – the third playoff hole – the demoralised Kim had no response.

The result? Kodaira becomes the fifth Japanese player to win on the PGA Tour, and jumps inside the top-30 in the world for the first time in his career. He also takes up full-time PGA Tour membership – this is a truly life-changing victory for the 28-year-old.

Talking point

Ian Poulter entered the day with a one-shot lead, and the Englishman was going for his second PGA Tour title in just three weeks.

He was in prime position when making the turn in one-under, but as the poor weather started to come in, his performance started to deteriorate. Bogeys at 10, 13, 14, 16 and 17 took Poulter out of contention, and he’d have to settle for a tie for 7th.

Keep up to date with all the latest news & videos
Latest News
  • AG News: Rose reclaims #1 ranking after Turkish Open win

    Justin Rose soared back to the top of the world rankings after edging out Haotong Li in a thrilling finish at the Turkish Airlines Open.
    Read more

  • AG News: Schauffele and Champ claim landmark victories

    Xander Schauffele won the WGC-HSBC Champions cementing his place as one America’s brightest golfing talents. But it was matched in significance by Cameron Champ's maiden PGA Tour victory
    Read more

  • AG News: Was golf harder in the 80s?

    “I’m 25 years older and I'm hitting it 25 yards further.” We spoke to four stars of the European Tour in the 1980s to hear what it was like to play with persimmon woods and the difference between equipment now and then
    Read more

More news
 View More Button
Latest Videos
  • Video: Leupold's Golf Rangefinders

    Leupold's 2017 golf rangefinders redefine accuracy on the links. Designed specifically for the golf market, Leupold's GX series is the best on the market. Whether you're a professional or an amateur, every detail and function is designed to improve your game.
    Read more

  • Video: Callaway Golf XR Speed Driver

    The XR Speed Driver delivers exceptional ball speed and incredible forgiveness from the combination of our new X VFT Face, refined Speed Step aerodynamics and the inclusion of a carbon composite crown. FAST JUST GOT A WHOLE LOT FASTER.
    Read more

  • Video: American Golf pro Matt Nicole goes for a World Record

    Watch as Matt Nicole tries to make a new world record....
    Read more

More news
View More Button