Emergency 9: RBC Heritage, Round 4
April 15, 2018
By Mike Glasscott, PGATOUR.COM
Satoshi Kodaira's birdie on third playoff hole secures win at RBC Heritage
Here are nine tidbits from the final round of the 50th RBC Heritage that gamers can use tomorrow, this weekend or down the road. Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina plays to 7,099 yards (Par-71).
Didn't See This Coming
Japan's Satoshi Kodaira defeated Korean Si Woo Kim with a birdie on the third playoff hole to win the 50th RBC Heritage. Both players posted 12-under-par 272 to force extra holes as Kim couldn't convert multiple chances down the stretch. Kodaira, the 46th-ranked player in the world, posted a final round 66 and recovered a six-shot deficit to win for the first time in 15 TOUR events. It is his seventh win in 146 starts worldwide.
Kodaira served notice in Round 2 as he posted 63, the lowest round of the week, to jump into the conversation. This was his first round in the 60's in six TOUR events in 2018 and first since posting 67 in Round 3 at the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow last summer. Sunday, he birdied the first three holes of the day and finished with seven total on the round. He squared just two bogeys to post 66 and the clubhouse lead before winning in the playoff. His final three rounds were played in 14 under. He said after the round that this course reminded him of the tracks he played in Japan and immediately felt comfortable. He led the field in proximity for the week and was in the top 10 in SG: Off the Tee, Approach the Green and Tee to Green. He split 42 of 56 fairways (T4) and staked 49 of 72 greens in regulation (T7). He also didn't make anything worse than bogey for the week.
He becomes the sixth winner in a row at Harbour Town to make up a Sunday deficit of at least three shots. He also becomes the 29th winner of the last 36 to play the week before the RBC Heritage. The streak of first-time TOUR winners at this event reaches three events in a row as he joins Branden Grace and Wesley Bryan in that category. He also joins Bryan in winning in his first attempt at the event, suggesting that previous experience isn't required at Harbour Town.
If he chooses to accept TOUR membership, he will get all of the perks of any winner plus all of his non-member points he previously accrued. I'm not sure many gamers thought his T28 at Augusta last week would push him into victory lane this week.
Gamers' Choices -- PGA TOUR Fantasy Game presented by SERVPRO
Kuchar couldn't recreate the magic of his 64 on Sunday last year as his 73 didn't include a birdie in his final 12 holes. Since his win in 2014 he's dropped each year on the leaderboard. His T23 this year is his worst check since T35 the year before his victory.
Gamers' Choices -- PGA TOUR One & Done presented by SERVPRO
As I told you in Friday's Emergency 9, only one player had Kodaira in the PGA TOUR One & Done game presented by SERVPRO. He is truly the big winner this week. Those of you who took a chance this week probably didn't lose too much ground and saved a "name" for down the road.
Si Woo Kim was ready to join a list of BIG NAMES if he would have picked up his third TOUR win today at the age of 23.
He entered the week 202nd in SG: Putting and that was the club that came back to haunt him. Down the stretch he had a few chances to make a birdie or save a par to increase or maintain his lead. Instead he limped home in 39 to necessitate a playoff. When he made the turn at 15-under, I didn't think that would be the case. There's an old saying that you revert to your old habits when the pressure hits and his "old" putter showed up at the wrong time. This adds another chapter of mystery to the already thick novel of last year's PLAYERS Championship.
It did not go according to Hoyle yesterday for Bryson DeChambeau but his bounce-back round on Sunday tells me all I need to know. He could have rolled out of bed for his early tee time today, gone through the motions and said the hell with it. After back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 13 and 14, I thought he might, especially after his finish yesterday. Instead he birdied the last FOUR holes to move up 17 spots to claim a share of third. With two finishes inside the top four in three tries, he's on my list next year.
His 70-67 finish at Augusta caught my eye last weekend and his excellent play carried over this week. His T5 is his third top-10 finish in his last six on TOUR so we shouldn't be terribly surprised. After making three bogeys in Round 1 he made a TOTAL of three bogeys the rest of the way. His excellent 2018 has been a product of his new-found putting success but this week his ball-striking helped. He was T4 in fairways and ninth in SG: Tee to green. His T5 included all four rounds in the 60's and his second-best finish (P2, 2013) at Harbour Town.
It is great to see Bill Haas (T7) playing well again after being in a fatal car wreck in Los Angeles earlier this year. I didn't think this would be the week he returned to the top 10 as his only top 25 in 13 previous tries at Harbour Town was T14 in 2016. ... World No. 1 Dustin Johnson moved up 25 spots to T16 after closing with 67. It ties his worst finish in stroke-play events this season. Worst, hahaha. ... Beau Hossler, runner-up to Poulter at the Houston Open, bogeyed the final two holes to drop out of the top 10 (T16). I liked that he showed up the next time out after a tough playoff loss. Noted.
Maybe the putter finally ran out of putts for Ian Poulter. The 54-hole leader posted 40 on his final nine and lost over two shots on the greens Sunday. In a vacuum, T7 is very solid but investors might argue differently. ... Danny Lee began the final round T9 and shot 79 to collect for T55. His three Sunday rounds in 2018 are 78, 75 and 79. ... C.T. Pan sounded confident after his round on Saturday after T4 but his 76 on Sunday knocked him all the way down to T19.
The final round scoring average was 71.416, the second-hardest round of the week. The scoring average for the week was 70.847 and was helped by the early, two-tee start to avoid inclement afternoon weather on Sunday. ... DeChambeau and Kim led the field with 22 birdies. They both had a triple bogey on the week as well. ... Simpson was the only player in the field to post all four rounds in the 60's. ... Billy Horschel's T5 was his best finish since last June. He said he's "close". ... There were no bogey-free rounds on Sunday. ... Jon Rahm won the Open de Espana by two shots to pick up his fifth win in 45 career starts as a professional.