Ko­daira ral­lies to win Her­itage

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS -

Satoshi Ko­daira made a 25-foot birdie putt on the third play­off hole to de­feat Si Woo Kim af­ter com­ing from six shots be­hind in the fi­nal round of the RBC Her­itage on Sun­day for his first PGA Tour vic­tory.

Ko­daira had fin­ished off his round of 66 to get to 12-un­der par about an hour be­fore Kim fin­ished in Hilton Head Is­land, S.C. Ko­daira matched Kim with two pars on the 18th hole be­fore rolling in his win­ning putt on the par-3 17th.

Kim came up short on his 21-footer for birdie to keep the play­off go­ing.

Bryson DeCham­beau (66) and Luke List (72) were tied for third. Third-round leader Ian Poul­ter’s bid for a se­cond tour ti­tle in three weeks ended with a 75 and a tie for sev­enth.

Ko­daira, 28, is ranked 46th in the world. He has won three tour­na­ments in Japan and played in the Masters last week, fin­ish­ing tied for 28th.

Start times were pushed up Sun­day morn­ing be­cause of bad weather fore­cast for later in the day. The tour­na­ment ap­peared in steady hands with Kim, whose bull­dog fo­cus and shot-mak­ing held ev­ery­one off to win The Players Cham­pi­onship last May. But the 22-yearold fal­tered over his fi­nal nine holes of reg­u­la­tion with three bo­geys to fall into the tie with Ko­daira.

Kim thought the in­creased winds slowed down the greens, mak­ing putts more dif­fi­cult on the fi­nal nine holes. “But I tried my best and the putts didn’t drop,” Kim said.

Poul­ter, who won the Hous­ton Open two weeks ago, had six bo­geys Sun­day.

Play­ing Har­bour Town for the first time, Ko­daira opened with a 73, then fol­lowed with the tour­na­ment’s best round of the week, 63 on Fri­day. That game kicked in once more in the fi­nal round, with six birdies on the way to the play­off.

DeCham­beau, 24, the se­cond-round leader who fell apart with a Satur­day 75, bounced back Sun­day with a 66 to fin­ish two shots back. His roller coaster of a tour­na­ment played out again Sun­day as he rose three shots to 9-un­der, then fell back to 7-un­der be­fore clos­ing with con­sec­u­tive birdies on the 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th.

World No. 1 Dustin John­son fin­ished with his best round of the week, a 67, and was tied for 16th, good enough for him to keep the top spot for a 61st con­sec­u­tive week.

Span­ish Open: Jon Rahm shot a 5-un­der 67 Sun­day to win the Span­ish Open in Madrid with overnight leader Paul Dunne two strokes be­hind.

LPGA: For the fi­nal two days of the Lotte Cham­pi­onship in Kapolei, Hawaii, it was clear that the only player who could beat Brooke Hen­der­son was Brooke Hen­der­son. She wasn’t about to let it hap­pen Satur­day at windy Ko Olina Golf Club, where she won by four shots.

Hen­der­son, who won’t be 21 un­til Septem­ber, won her sixth tour ti­tle, leav­ing her two short of San­dra Post for most by a Cana­dian player.

Kyle Lar­son will have to wait an­other day to try to cap­ture his first NASCAR Cup Se­ries vic­tory of the sea­son.

The race at Bristol Mo­tor Speed­way was post­poned un­til today at 1 p.m. be­cause of heavy rain with Lar­son out in front. Racing was halted three times Sun­day due to wet weather.

Lar­son led 74 laps when the race was halted on lap 204, just 46 laps from be­com­ing of­fi­cial. NASCAR hopes to com­plete all re­main­ing 296 laps, although the fore­cast calls for more rain and pos­si­bly snow.

Lar­son seemed to have found his groove on the track be­fore the third and fi­nal red flag came out. NASCAR waited about an hour be­fore of­fi­cially post­pon­ing the race with a fore­cast of steady rain for the re­main­der of Sun­day night. “It’s hard to get a rhythm with all the rain and stuff and then get­ting out of your car and get­ting back in,” Lar­son said.

Lar­son liked the speed of his car, but said the track was slick. “There is only a lit­tle line there on the bot­tom that has got some grip,” said Lar­son, who nor­mally likes to run on the high side of the Bristol track. “If you get out of it, it’s slick. If you get be­low it, it’s slick.”

Some driv­ers won’t have to worry about com­ing back today. Ryan Blaney was dom­i­nant early in the No. 12 Ford, lead­ing 99 laps of the first 119 laps be­fore get­ting caught up in wreck that left his car in sham­bles. It hap­pened on turn three when Chris Buescher and Trevor Bayne, who were fight­ing to stay on the lead lap, got tan­gled up in front of Blaney, leav­ing him nowhere to ma­neu­ver. His car was taken be­hind the wall, end­ing his day.

Michael McDow­ell, Chris Buescher, Harrison Rhodes and Ross Chas­tain also are out of the race.

For­mula One: Red Bull driver Daniel Ric­cia­rdo yanked off his right shoe, poured cham­pagne into it as he stood on the podium, and then drank up to his un­likely vic­tory in Sun­day’s Chi­nese Grand Prix at Shang­hai. The Aus­tralian started from the third row, but took ad­van­tage when the safety car came out on the 31st lap to al­low him to get fresh, soft tires when the other lead­ers were run­ning on worn rub­ber and couldn’t get in quickly to change.

Ric­cia­rdo got quicker and quicker and took the lead on the 45th lap of the 56-lap race, over­tak­ing Valt­teri Bot­tas with a dive on the in­side past the Mercedes driver. Bot­tas called it a “fair” pass and fin­ished se­cond with Fer­rari’s Kimi Raikko­nen in third.

Ric­cia­rdo said he knew he had a great chance with the fresh rub­ber. And he knew he got a bit lucky. “That was ob­vi­ously giv­ing us a good lit­tle bit of grip on the restart,” Ric­cia­rdo said.

Red Bull’s vic­tory leaves the F1 sea­son in a scram­ble. There’s no clear fa­vorite. Mercedes has not won any of the first three races with de­fend­ing cham­pion Lewis Hamil­ton and Bot­tas at the wheel. Hamil­ton fin­ished fourth Sun­day.

Se­bas­tian Vet­tel of Fer­rari fin­ished eighth Sun­day and leads the sea­son stand­ings with 54 points af­ter three races.

Sid­ney Crosby matched a post­sea­son best with four points on a goal and three as­sists to help the Pitts­burgh Pen­guins beat Philadelphia 5-1 for a 2-1 lead in the firstround se­ries. Crosby shut up the or­ange-and-black diehards with a wrap­around goal off a turnover mid­way through the first. Game 4 is Wed­nes­day in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia cut cor­ner­back Daryl Wor­ley. NFL Net­work re­ported that Wor­ley was ar­rested Sun­day near the team’s prac­tice fa­cil­ity and that po­lice used a Taser on him af­ter he be­came com­bat­ive. The re­port also said a gun was found in his ve­hi­cle.

At Hous­ton, Steve John­son beat Ten­nys Sand­gren 7-6 (2), 2-6, 6-4 to be­come the first player to suc­cess­fully de­fend the U.S. Men’s Clay Court ti­tle in 16 years.

TYLER LECKA / GETTY IMAGES

Satoshi Ko­daira of Japan re­acts to his birdie putt on the third play­off hole at the RBC Her­itage in Hilton Head Is­land, S.C., as he earns his first tour ti­tle.

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