RBC Heritage: Victory for Satoshi Kodaira

Golf
Satoshi Kodaira with the RBC Heritage trophy
Satoshi Kodaira with the RBC Heritage trophy

Satoshi Kodaira claimed a maiden PGA Tour title with a play-off victory at the RBC Heritage, as Ian Poulter’s hopes faded during the final round.

Leaderboard

-12 Satoshi Kodaira, Si Woo Kim (Kodaira won at the third extra play-off hole)

-11 Luke List, Bryson DeChambeau

-10 Billy Horschel, Webb Simpson

Day four report

Satoshi Kodaira claimed a maiden PGA Tour title with a play-off victory at the RBC Heritage, as Ian Poulter’s hopes faded during the final round.

Kodaira - playing several groups ahead of the final threeball - posted a five-under 66 in the best of the conditions at Harbour Town Golf Links to set the clubhouse target at 12 under.

Si Woo Kim held a two-shot lead at the turn but posted three bogeys in strong winds on the back nine, with a missed birdie chance from six feet at the par-four last taking the contest to extra holes.

The pair returned to the 18th and both parred their next two visits to the hole, before Kodaira drained a 25-foot birdie at the third extra hole - the par-three 17th - to complete an unlikely victory.

Overnight leader Poulter was two off the pace at the turn but saw his challenge end on the back nine, where the Englishman posted four bogeys in a five-hole stretch on his way to a four-over 75 to end the week tied-seventh.

Kodaira birdied his opening three holes in a front-nine 33 and followed a birdie-three at the 10th with back-to-back gains from the 14th to close the gap on Kim at the top of the leaderboard.

The Japanese star bogeyed the 17th hole and made a two-putt par at the last to close a joint-low round of the day, as Kim turned in 33 and still held a two-shot cushion with six holes to go.

Kim struggled with his putter as he missed an eight-footer for birdie at the 13th, three-putted the 15th for bogey and squandered another chance from inside 10 feet at the par-four next.

The Players champion couldn't get up-and-down from a bunker at the 17th to save par and failed to convert a six-footer for victory at the last, with playing partner Luke List finishing a shot back in tied-third after missing a 12-foot birdie opportunity at the 18th.

List was joined on 11 under by early starter Bryson DeChambeau, who birdied his final four holes, with Webb Simpson, a 40/1 each-way selection by our Ben Coley, and Billy Horschel a further stroked adrift in a share of fifth place.

Day three report

Ian Poulter will take a one-shot lead into the final round of the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town as he attempts to land a second title in three weeks.

The 42-year-old Englishman claimed the Houston Open in dramatic style a fortnight ago to earn the final invite to Augusta National for last week's Masters, where he finished 44th.

A flawless four-under-par 67 took Poulter to 13 under in South Carolina, one ahead of Korea's Si Woo Kim and American Luke List as the Ryder Cup star aims to become the first English winner of the event since Sir Nick Faldo in 1984.

Poulter's recent upturn in form has come about after reverting to the putter with which he helped Europe pull off the 'Miracle of Medinah' at the 2012 Ryder Cup.

After struggling on the greens en route to a missed cut at the Valspar Championship, Poulter revealed he had given away his putter before making the switch.

"After missing the cut in Tampa, I was in disarray, so I gave it (putter) to a kid at the back of the green," he said in an interview broadcast on Sky Sports Golf.

"I was thinking 'what shall I use'? - I've got an office full of old putters and I was looking at it thinking 'surely I can remember how good this thing was and how good I was'.

"I stood over it, I opened my shoulders Friday morning in Houston and I saw the line of the putts a lot easier than I was. Holed a 20 footer, holed a 30 footer, and it's like 'OK, we're ready to go now'."

After a tap-in birdie at the long fifth, Poulter converted from 14 feet at the sixth and made further back-to-back gains from close range at the 12th and 13th.

Asked about his prospects on Sunday, Poulter added: "Tomorrow's about patience; it's going to be drizzly, it's going to be difficult.

"Trust myself, trust my instincts, trust my ability. I know how to get it done but I've got to relearn it - it's about hitting the shots under pressure and delivering when you have to deliver. Hole the putts at the right time."

List also carded a four-under 67, while Players Championship winner Kim signed for a 68.

Chinese Taipei's Cheng-tsung Pan and American Billy Horschel share fourth on 11 under.


Sky Bet Odds (ahead of rd 4, prices correct at 1040 BST on 15/04/2018:

  • Ian Poulter 2/1
  • Luke List 4/1
  • Si Woo Kim 4/1
  • Billy Horschel 10/1
  • Kevin Kisner 11/1

14/1 Bar. Click here for latest odds.


Day two report

Ian Poulter's bogey-free round of 64 saw the Englishman put himself into contention at the half-way stage of the RBC Heritage in South Carolina.

Starting on the back nine, Poulter carded four birdies and followed up with a trio after the turn to go nine-under par for the tournament, one shot behind American Bryson DeChambeau.

DeChambeau made eagle at the second but dropped shots on the third and ninth, before a clean back nine featuring three birdies.

Joining Poulter tied for second is PLAYERS champion Si Woo Kim, who recovered from a triple bogey on the par-three 14th.

Scot Martin Laird is tied for 13th on six-under after carding 69, while Matthew Fitzpatrick is four shots behind and tied for 42nd.

Graeme McDowell just made the cut after following Thursday's round of 73 with a 69.

Meanwhile, Kelly Kraft missed the cut due to a stroke of bad luck on Friday the 13th.

The American's tee shot on the 14th struck a bird and fell into the water hazard, with the double-bogey leaving him one-over.

Day one report

South African Rory Sabbatini made a hot start at the RBC Heritage as he shot a bogey-free 64 to take a two-shot lead after the first round in South Carolina.

Sabbatini's bogey-free round at Harbour Town Golf Links contained seven birdies, including one at the last, as he overcame doubts over whether he would even play after tweaking his back earlier in the week.

"This morning, I still wasn't a hundred percent sure I was going to play today," confirmed Sabbatini.

"I just was very conservative out there. I kind of let the round come to me. I didn't try and press, try and force the birdies. I hit a lot of good shots early, turned around and then just was able to convert a couple.

"I love this golf course."

Sky Bet make him 14/1 to go on and win the event.

A host of Americans were behind Sabbatini, with John Huh, Billy Horschel, Matt Kuchar and Chesson Hadley all at five-under par, and it's Kuchar who heads Sky Bet's market at 15/2.

Scot Martin Laird and Swede Jonas Blixt were the highest Europeans on the leaderboard as they both card four-under par 67s.

English pair Ian Poulter and Matthew Fitzpatrick are in tied-20th place, five shots adrift of Sabbatini, while Graeme McDowell is in a fight to make the cut having dropped shots at three par fours in his round of 73.

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