HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC – APRIL 15: Satoshi Kodaira of Japan attempts a putt on the second green during the final round of the 2018 RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links on April 15, 2018, in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
By E. Michael Johnson
Satoshi Kodaira, five shots in arrears of Si Woo Kim starting the day, fired a final-round 66 to erase the deficit and then won the RBC Heritage with a birdie putt of 24 feet, six inches on the third extra hole of a playoff with Kim.
After exchanging pars on the first two extra holes, Kodaira—who has won six times on the Japan Tour, including a pair of Japan Tour majors—hit an 8-iron on the 176-yard, par-3 17th at Harbour Town and drained the putt to win the tournament and earn membership on the PGA Tour. The putt was made with a Scotty Cameron by Titleist prototype.
Harbour Town G.L. is one of those courses where the statistics don’t always reflect the play. With its small greens, the Pete Dye course rarely coughs up eye-opening greens in regulation figures, making Kim’s 68.06 percent mark relatively impressive. In fact, Kodaira led the field in proximity to the hole on his approach shots for the week.
Kodaira’s bag is not one you see from a typical PGA Tour player as it is nearly filled with sticks from PRGR, which is a big brand in Japan but known for little more in the U.S. than signing Corey Pavin at one time and producing pretty good utility irons. Now as Kodaira prepares to play the PGA Tour full time, he has an opportunity to raise awareness of the brand on a weekly basis going forward.
What Satoshi Kodaira had in the bag at the RBC Heritage
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: PRGR RS prototype (Graphite Design Tour AD DI-6S), 10.5 degrees
3-wood: TaylorMade M2 2017, 15 degrees
5-wood: PRGR ID Nabla Black, 18 degrees
Irons (3): PRGR ID Nabla RS; (4-PW): PRGR Forged
Wedges: PRGR ID Nabla Tour (52 degrees); Fourteen RM 22 (60 degrees)
Putter: Scotty Cameron by Titleist prototype