“Even though I’m not an American player,” he said at Harbour Town, “I’m just incredibly grateful to see some of these fans cheering my name and cheering for me in the playoff.”
3. Luke List just keeps on knocking on the door, and as he said afterward, it seems likely to open for him sometime soon. The Vanderbilt product admittedly wasn’t sharp in the final round, but he still gave himself an excellent chance to join the playoff by parking his approach shot to 10 feet, 3 inches on the last hole of regulation. He missed, his face a picture of agony, and signed for a 1-over 72 to finish T3.
The bigger picture, though, shows a positive trajectory: in 16 starts this season, List has nine top-25 finishes, including four top 10s. His best: a playoff runner-up to Justin Thomas at The Honda Classic. List, who is originally from Seattle but plays out of Virginia Country Club in Long Beach, Calif., moved from 20th to 11th in the FedExCup.
4. Ian Poulter finally ran out of gas, which was understandable given the run he’s been on, a six-week stretch of tournament play that began at the Valspar Championship outside Tampa.
Poulter made a run to the quarterfinals at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play; won the Houston Open to earn a last-second Masters invite; and while he did little besides make the cut at Augusta National, he built a one-stroke lead through 54 holes at Harbour Town.
Alas, after a 47-hole stretch without a bogey earlier in the tournament, Poulter shot a 4-over 75 to finish 9 under and T7, making five of his six bogeys on the inward nine holes. Still, it’s worth remembering Poulter came into last year’s RBC Heritage at 210 in the Official World Golf Ranking. He came into this one 31st, and is now 29th. Oh, and don’t look now, but it’s a Ryder Cup year.
5. Harbour Town was the week’s big winner, as usual. The 7,099-yard, par-71 stood its ground as the field averaged 70.847 for the week, and 12-under was good enough to get into the playoff.
The par-3 14th hole gave players fits, and all week players commented on how the layout was proof that one need not build a course to be 8,000 yards long to create a challenge.
“The fairways sometimes aren’t quite good enough,” Poulter said. “You have to hit the right or left half of them. And it’s a great test of golf. … It’s a very clever course. It’s not the longest one we play, but it’s probably the smartest one.”
1. Kodaira became the third player to win a TOUR event this season after opening with a 73. Jason Day (Farmers Insurance Open) and Poulter (Houston Open) were the first two. Kodaira collected his first win in his 15th PGA TOUR start, and his longest made putt of the week, of 24 feet, 6 inches, came as he closed out Kim on the third playoff hole (17).