Satoshi Kodaira is the newest PGA Tour winner, defeating Si Woo Kim in a playoff for the 2018 RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island, S.C.
For a lot of American golf fans, Kodaira is a new name and an unfamiliar quantity. However, Kodaira has been taking trophies in Japan for several years now and is just starting to enter his own as a worldwide competitor. Now, with a two-season PGA Tour exemption in hand, you'll be seeing a lot more of the 28-year-old, so we figured we'd fill you in on who Satoshi Kodaira is.
Satoshi Kodaira was born in Tokyo, and he's 28. Prior to this PGA Tour breakthrough win, Kodaira played the bulk of his golf on the Japan Golf Tour, where he had won six times, including twice in the last six months.
His win at the 2016 Bridgestone Open in late October 2016 propelled Kodaira to 130th in the Official World Golf Ranking and helped him start a run with a runner-up and T-3 finish to get him into the top 100 in the world at the end of 2016. However, Kodaira languished in the low 100s throughout the first portion of 2017 despite five top-10 finishes in the first half of the year. Following another four consecutive finishes top-10 finishes, Kodaira won two of his next seven starts to grab a spot in the world top 55 at the end of 2017.
It's been in this range -- low 40s or early 50s -- where Kodaira has been, earning a spot in the Masters based on on his world ranking positioning. Now, he has a PGA Tour card and a spot in the 2019 Masters, as well the remaining 2018 majors.