Kodaira gets first PGA win on playoff birdie

Satoshi Kodaira of Japan came from six strokes behind with a 5-under-par 66 in the final round of the RBC Heritage, but he wasn’t finished.

The 28-year-old Kodaira sank a 25-foot birdie putt on the third playoff hole to defeat Si Woo Kim of South Korea and claim his first victory on the PGA Tour at Harbour Town Resort in Hilton Head Island, S.C.

Kim, 22, the reigning Players champion who closed with a 71, missed a 21-foot birdie putt that would have prolonged the playoff after both finished 72 holes at 12-under 272.

Kodaira opened with a 73, but got back in the hunt with a 63 in round two before playing the weekend in 70-66.

“I was nervous going into the playoff, but I made that putt and I’m very, very happy to make that last putt,” said Kodaira, who has won six times on the Japan Golf Tour and earned full-time membership on the PGA Tour by winning in his 15th start on the U.S. circuit.

“I didn’t think (his first victory) would come this quickly, (and) yes I will take full-time membership.”

Luke List, who was in the chase all the way despite four bogeys on the back nine, missed a 10-foot birdie putt on the final hole of regulation that would have gotten him into the playoff to finish at 72 and was one stroke back in a tie for third with 36-hole leader Bryson DeChambeau of Clovis, who birdied the last four holes to shoot 66.

Webb Simpson had two late birdies in a 68 to wind up two shots behind in a tie for fifth with Billy Horschel, who totaled 72, while 54-hole lead Ian Poulter struggled to a 75 and finished three down in a tie for seventh with Patrick Cantlay (68) of Los Alamitos and UCLA, Kevin Streelman (68), Bill Haas (69), Byeong Hun An (69) of South Korea, Chesson Hadley (72) and Kevin Kisner (72).

Top-ranked Dustin Johnson closed with a 67 to tie for 16th and defending champion Wesley Bryan tied for 42nd after a 70.

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