There was even some final-round drama with a three-hole playoff. Only one drawback: The playoff between Si Woo Kim and Satoshi Kodaira wasn’t aired stay on tv. It wasn’t streamed on the web.
Followers weren’t in a position to watch remotely as Kodaira birdied the par-3 17th to seize his first PGA Tour title at Harbour City Golf Hyperlinks in Hilton Head, S.C.
The choice was made Saturday night time to have gamers tee off sooner than scheduled in threesomes with Sunday afternoon storms within the forecast. Newpaper24 aired the ultimate spherical on tape delay within the repeatedly scheduled broadcast slot.
It ended up being an enormous second for Asian golf with 22-year-old Kim from South Korea and Japan’s Kodaira going toe-to-toe.
The victory served as Kodaira’s U.S. breakthrough. The 28-year-old from Tokyo started the ultimate spherical six strokes again and shot 5-under 66 to notch a 12-under 272 for the week. It was the 10th time a Tour occasion went to a playoff this season.
“To win this rapidly is an enormous shock to me,” Kodaira mentioned via an interpreter.
Kim made bogey on three of his final six holes in regulation and missed a 6-foot birdie putt on 18 to fall right into a playoff. The 2 traded consecutive pars on the par-4 18th gap, then Kodaira sank a 24-foot birdie putt on the third playoff gap to seize the plaid jacket.
A six-time winner on the Japan Golf Tour, Kodaira didn’t have PGA Tour standing getting into the week however certified as one of many prime 50 gamers within the Official World Golf Rating. Now he has a two-year exemption and will probably be again on the Masters subsequent April after a T-28 end in his Augusta Nationwide debut final week.
“This can be a stage I’ve been dreaming about,” Kodaira mentioned. “Having this chance to play full time is a dream come true. So, after all, I’ll settle for full-time membership.”
Kodaira had by no means even cracked the top-25 in 14 prior PGA Tour begins and completed underneath par in simply two of them. He’s projected to maneuver inside the highest 30 within the Official World Golf Score and is the No. 2-ranked Japanese participant behind Hideki Matsuyama, who’s No. eight within the OWGR and the nation’s all-time Tour wins chief.
“I’ve been watching Hideki Matsuyama in Japan, and I’ve at all times appeared as much as him or wished to play simply as effectively,” Kodaira mentioned. “I really feel that I’m getting nearer to that degree.”
Kim had an opportunity to do one thing particular, too. He was on the lookout for his third Tour win earlier than his 23rd birthday, one thing solely Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth have completed.
He shot even-par 71 within the ultimate spherical and can look to defend his Gamers Championship title subsequent month at TPC Sawgrass, the place he grew to become the youngest winner in event historical past a 12 months in the past.
“Although I’m not an American participant, I’m simply extremely grateful to see a few of these followers cheering my identify and cheering for me within the playoff,” Kim mentioned. “And I hope that even when I’m enjoying with an American participant these followers would cheer for me.”
Most in Tokyo had been nonetheless sleeping when Kodaira sank the profitable putt round Four a.m. in Japan Normal Time.
“As soon as they get up and discover out, they’ll be very shocked,” Kodaira mentioned. Gwk