Poulter lets victory chance slip as Kodaira comes through
The Englishman finished tied for seventh after shooting 75 in South Carolina.
Ian Poulter allowed the chance of a second title in three weeks slip away in Harbour Town as Japan’s Satoshi Kodaira claimed his first PGA tour win in the RBC Heritage.
Poulter’s win in the Houston Open earned him a place in the Masters field at Augusta and the Englishman held a one-shot lead coming into the final round in South Carolina.
But he shot his worst round of the competition, a four-over 75, to slip back to a share of seventh while Kodaira came through a three-hole play-off against South Korea’s Si-woo Kim.
Poulter was one under at the turn but bogeyed five holes on the back nine to tumble down the leaderboard.
Kodaira, 28, picked up strokes at each of the first three holes and finished five-under for the day to thrust himself into the mix having started the round in 12th.
Both Kodaira and Kim bogeyed the par-three 17th in their final round to finish locked on 12 under for 72 holes but the tournament was settled when the pair revisited it head-to-head.
Well done Satoshi Kodaira on your 1st @PGATOUR victory in @RBC_Heritage! Coming from 6 back & surviving 3-hole playoff is terrific way to join the many talented 20-something winners in our game. Before Friday no rounds in 60s on TOUR? Now 2 of them + 1 trophy + 1 snazzy coat! pic.twitter.com/lTzHC2wt3b— Jack Nicklaus (@jacknicklaus) April 15, 2018
After two attempts at the 18th ended in stalemate fours, Kodaira sank a 25-foot birdie putt to land the winner’s cheque.
Kodaira accepted full membership on the tour at the close as well as improving his bank balance by more than one million US Dollars.
Bryson DeChambeau and Luke List were tied for third one shot back, with fellow Americans Webb Simpson and Billy Horschel next in line.