It was a great time to be Satoshi Kodaira. Read below to find out more about the Golfer who just won the RBC Heritage!
Who is Satoshi Kodaira?
Originally born in Tokyo, Japan, he turned pro back in 2010. Having competed in fourteen prior events, he had never tasted victory in any tournament or event that had been played in America. His odds of winning this event were at just 200/1 coming in, and he had to get through some big names in order to come out on top.
He has had a tremendous career playing on the Japan Tour, where he has won six different events since 2013, including twice this past fall. This was his very first time playing in RBC Heritage, and it only adds to the intrigue.
He entered RBC being ranked as the 46th best golfer in the world, and won some big-time prize money, going out with $1.206 million. It was a big time pay day for a player who appears to be seriously on the rise.
How’d he win RBC?
He entered the final day of play needing not only to play better than he ever had before, but for a number of his competitors to also slow down and struggle. He was six shots down at one point in a playoff with Si-Woo-Kim, and rallied to take him down in the third different playoff hole.
He rolled in a 25-foot birdie on the par-3 17th hole, before punching his fist in celebration. A lot of hard work went into this one for Kodaira, who prevailed and now has an invitation waiting for him to join the PGA Tour. The 28-year old isn’t going to be forgetting this one any time soon.
He said that this was a stage he had been dreaming about, and is going to eagerly accept the invitation to join the PGA Tour full time. It’s very exciting for him, without a doubt, to be playing for eight years and finally come out on top.
What’s next for Kodaira?
He will become a full-time player on the PGA Tour and look to replicate some of the success which he had on the green over these past few days. A few weeks off for him are definitely warranted, as he has only, as he mentioned, been able to dream of the situation he has now gotten himself into following his win.
A chance to join the Tour full-time should be no surprise to anybody that has known him throughout his career. All of the golfers he has taken down during his complete dominance in Japan will more than likely be congratulating him soon on taking such a large career step.
The next big event is the Valero Texas Open, which will be played from April 19-22.
Impressive takeaways from his winning of RBC
. Quite a few of the top competitors from the final results were all younger than him (Bryson DeChambeau and Si Woo Kim)
. He was able to hold off Ian Poulter, who entered with the best odds of winning and had won a title just two weeks earlier
. 45 players in the world ranked higher than he did coming in
. Start times were pushed up for the final day due to inclement weather, affecting preparation and pre-tee rituals
. Had the tournaments’ best round of the week at 63 on Friday
. He earns himself a nice three-week vacation and a nice chance to enjoy the weather in the Bahamas
The 2018 Masters has come to a close, and there was an unexpected winner. Read below to find out more!
Who is Patrick Reed?
A 27-year old from San Antonio Texas, Patrick Reed entered this year’s Masters having never won a major. This past Masters was the fifth he has competed in, and 17th major tournament he had been a part of. Well, he can no longer say that.
Reed was ranked as the 24th best player in the world coming in to the tournament, and will surely rank even higher when the next ranking comes out. He had never finished higher than 22nd at this very tournament, making this year all the more impressive.
What makes Reed winning the Masters so impressive?
Well, for starters, he had 50/1 odds coming in to come out on top and get the chance to wear the green jacket. Jordan Spieth, looked at as a favorite by many, had the best single day performance in Masters history, and that still wasn’t enough to catapult him to the top. He went toe to toe with Rory McIlroy as the event winded down and was able to best him.
Reed getting this victory makes him the ninth golfer to win his first career major, in the last ten held. He is a name that many casual fans have never heard, and even fewer expected to beat out the best in the world to come out as the victor of the Masters.
Where the competition fell short
Tiger Woods, showing that he has been revitalized of late, looked to be a prime candidate to win the 2018 Masters. At 42 years of age, he has been doing this a lot longer than most golfers in the world, but this time around he just didn’t have it.
Woods would finish this event tied for 32nd place, but it did mark the first time since the 2015 Masters that he made it through all four rounds. It was a great sign from him to show he can still last the duration of a colossal event like this one.
Jordan Spieth had a historic final day, finishing 8-under-par, but he had too much ground to make up in order for this to be enough to bring him to the top of the leaderboard. He had some unbelievable finishes at a number of holes, but Patrick Reed was able to best him.
Rickie Fowler, who had a fantastic overall 4-round effort, ended up as the runner up. He’s finished in the top-25 in five consecutive majors, a feat which is extremely impressive, but second place will not earn him the green jacket. He started slow on the final day, and as a result, he really just couldn’t get it done and come out on top.
What is next for Patrick Reed?
Now that he has won something as big as the Masters, he will have a lot more of a following checking in on how he does in future events. He can’t just disappear and turn into a one-time winner and then just shift to become average.
All golfers will have this week off, before the RBC Heritage in Hilton Head, South Carolina begins on April 12. With a good few days to prepare for it, Reed should be ready and raring to go.
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The Houston Open just came to its conclusion with Ian Poulter coming out on top. Now, we turn our attention towards the Masters, which starts on Thursday. Read below as we examine who some of the top candidates to win the event are. Here are some of the current odds:
Tiger Woods (10-1 odds):
Tiger’s comeback attempt took a very long time, but for the first time truly in YEARS, we have been seeing him play a strong brand of golf. He’s now 42-years old, but his odds of winning the Masters are tied for the best of any competitor.
What Woods can bring to the table is a wealth of experience, and he’s fresh off three consecutive top-12 finishes in the Valspar Championship, the Arnold Palmer Invitational, and The Honda Classic. Picking Woods would be bold, but based on an entire career of monumental titles, he’s a player you should consider choosing as your champ.
Jordan Spieth (10-1 odds):
Spieth has been one of the best golfers in the world for a few years now, and he’s entering the Masters after finishing tied for third at the Houston Open. At just 24 years of age, he’s still among the youth of the sport, and he tends to step up in this specific tournament,
He won this tournament back in 2015 to give himself the first tournament victory of his career. He’s yet to win a tournament here in 2018 but has three top-10 finishes. Beware of Jordan Spieth, who can turn it on at just about any time. He’s a player you should feel confident selecting as your winner.
Justin Thomas (10-1 odds):
Like Spieth, Thomas is among the younger stars in the game, as he too stands at 24 years of age. He’s fresh off of back-to-back first place finishes at The Honda Classic and The CJ Cup and doesn’t seem to be slowing down. He’s playing some of the best golf of his career right now.
Not many players can enter the Masters saying they have finished top-2 in three consecutive events played in, but Thomas sure can. He’s a sure thing to make it very far in the event, and with his successful early-career track record, picking Thomas doesn’t have much downside. He’s ready and raring to go.
Rory McIlroy (12-1 odds):
McIlroy has been struggling a bit, finishing 36th and 20th in his previous two events but was able to bounce back and win the Arnold Palmer Invitational. The 28-year old needed some confidence heading into the Masters and he sure found it.
He’s 28 years of age and has struggled overall since he first burst onto the golf scene, but McIlroy still has a lot of game left in that club. He’s going to fight as hard as he can to earn a second consecutive tour victory, with some great talent participating here.
If you are a Rory McIlroy fan, then picking him is a no-brainer. His tremendous talent can carry him to victory if he stays the course.
Justin Rose (12-1 odds):
The 37-year old is coming in off of a victory at the World Golf Championships, HSBC Champions event, and is off to a solid start in 2018. He’s finished in the top 3 thirty times in his career, and will be looking to build that figure up a little higher.
The Johannesburg, South Africa native is out here trying to show he’s still got it. He’s five years younger than the elder Tiger Woods, but is coming in off some very impressive play. If you want to place all your chips on an underdog who isn’t being viewed as such, Rose is your man.
The Masters begin on April 5th. Be sure to follow along, as it looks to be an exciting tournament this year!
The WGC –Dell Technologies Match Play came to an end on Sunday. Follow below to hear about Sunday’s semifinal, and what is to come for the tournament’s best!
- Bubba Watson came out on top, defeating Kevin Kisner 7-and-6 in the championship match.
- Watson defeated Kisner all but one hole in this final matchup
- In the consolation match, Justin Thomas lost 5-and-3 to Alex Noren to finish as #4.
- Thomas would have moved to world #1 with a victory in this tournament
- Bubba Watson entered match play ranked as #35 and did not even anticipate he’d make it as far as he did
- He had a vacation booked, leaving Sunday, that he had to move because of his strong play at Austin Country Club
- He began last week as the #36 player in the world, but jumped 11 spots to #25 for this week
- His 2nd place finish at this WGC tournament was his first top-10 finish since he tied for fourth at the RSM Classic on November 19th
- He lost the first five holes to Watson in the championship and fell into a hole he could not get out of
- This 2nd place finish should bode well for the 34-year old
- Look for more strong play like this from Kisner moving forward, as he’s not ranked inside the top 25.
- He began last week as the #39 player in the world, but jumped 18 spots after claiming the WGC title, up to #21 in today’s rankings.
- Not expecting by any means to win, he booked a flight to go on vacation in advance of the tournament and had to cancel it when he made it to championship day
- Defeated #2 Justin Thomas in order to get up to the championship round, who he smiled and said “Hey, no matter what, I was beating No. 1 at some point” (Read more below in Thomas’ section
- Lead after every single hole in the championship round and seemed confident from the get-go
- 11th career victory on the PGA tour, Watson won $1.7 million
- Look for Watson to keep up the strong play moving forward.
- Thomas lost to Alex Noren in the consolation match to finish fourth out of the four competing golfers yesterday
- Had he won this tournament, he would have overtaken longstanding #1 Dustin Johnson for that spot
- Mentioned that he had the thought of #1 being at stake all match long and it played a part in his struggles and inability to finish
- Stays at #2 in the world rankings as a result of this defeat and will have more work to do to pass Dustin Johnson
- Entered the tournament ranked as the #17 player in the world and rose to #14 by the end of match play
- Defeated Justin Thomas in the 3rd place match to finish second-to-last
- His third-place finish was his second such finish in 2018 so far (3rd in The Honda Classic)
- The 35-year old is still playing very competitively and his 3rd place finish in a tournament where he entered as #13 will bode well moving forward.
Catch these golfers in action later this week as The Houston Open begins in March 29th! The PGA Tour keeps rolling on.
We are looking forward to the next event on the PGA Tour. Last week was a thrilling result with Justin Thomas and Phil Mickleson going head to head for a tiebreaker. This week, we expect just as much excitement. We remain in Florida – and go to the Innisbrook Resort – Copperhead Course from Palm Harbor. The defending champion is Adam Hadwin, and he is listed at +2800 to go back to back. Let’s take a look at some of our favorite picks for the 2018 Valspar Championship:
Jordan Spieth +725
The 24 year old from Dallas has not had a Jordan Spieth like season yet. He has played in 6 events and finished in the Top 10 just twice. His last three events though were all Top 20 finishes, but something seems a little off with the form of Spieth. At +725, he is listed as the overall favorite.
Rory Mcllroy +1200
It’s hard to bet on the 28 year old from Northern Ireland, due to his recent play. He has yet to finish in the Top 10 on the PGA Tour this season. He also recently missed the cut at Pebble Beach. He is listed second in the odds to win the event, but not sure we can bet on him with his recent form.
Tiger Woods +2200
It’s not a golf tournament without bringing Tiger Woods into the event, right? Woods has not been as bad as many thought he would be coming back to the tour. He has been on tour since 1996, but as we know – has plenty of history behind him. Woods finished 12th at the Honda Classic, and that had many excited for his future looks. Do not be surprised if Tiger Woods plays real well in his home state of Florida.
Gary Woodland +4000
If this guy can ever find some true consistency, he is going to be quite a force on the course. He has played in 10 events already this season, so there is no doubt he is trying to keep his game sharp. Woodland won the Waste Management in Phoenix, but went and missed the cut at Pebble Beach. The last two events, Woodland has finished 49th and 50th. You just never really know which 33 year old from Kansas will show up.
Matt Kuchar +5500
The 39 year old from Winter Park Florida is in his home state for this event. The 39 year old has been on tour since 2000. This season has not been an awesome season, but he is still a force on tour. Kuchar has been in the Top 10 just once this season, but that was a near win, as he finished 5th at the Waste Management. Kuchar at +5500 is something we just cannot overlook.
That is our look at the 2018 Valspar Championship. In the end, we are going to go with an under the radar pick and going with Matt Kuchar. At +5500 – we love the value of Kuchar, and his experience. Look for Kuchar to win the 2018 Valspar Championship. Best of luck with all your PGA Tour Betting!
Late last week, much of the talk around the PGA heading into the Genesis Open was surrounding the comments made by Bubba Watson leading up to the golf tournament, as he stated he would withdraw from the tournament in order to play at the NBA All-Star celebrity game if he was not allowed to participate in both. Watson joked with many of the experts in the industry and several high profile journalists, claiming that he had every intention to withdraw from the tournament, if it came down to it.
No one really took the threats serious as sponsorship money would overrule the need to play in a celebrity basketball game, especially if he was in contention to possibly win the golf tournament. Watson had not had the best of years so far this year but he has always played really well at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California. Sponsors invest millions of dollars each year on various golfers to make sure that their business is exposed at these tournaments and had the Genesis Open officials requested that Watson not participate in the basketball event due to risk of injury, that would of left him making the decision of either not playing or withdrawing from the golf tournament.
Watson played golf on Thursday and Friday and had a very good start to the tournament. He was within a striking distance of the leaders at the top of the pack in the golf tournament and shot a one under par on Friday, to put him in seven spots back of the leaders. Knowing that he had already made the cut and wouldn’t play his 3rd round of golf until late on Saturday, the option presented itself for Watson to travel and participate in the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game on Friday Night.
Trip to Staples Center
Luckily for Watson, the trip to the Staples Center, where the NBA All-Star game was being played, was only 17 miles away or a 30 minute trip West to Pacific Palisades, California, where he was participating in the Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club. The Celebrity All-Star game consist of former NBA players, popular musicians, world known actors and several well-known people involved with celebrity status.
Watson played alongside the likes of multi platinum album selling recording artist Justin Bieber, Academy award-winning actor Jamie Foxx, former NBA All-Star Tracy McGrady, Quavo, Dascha Polanco from Orange is the New Black, Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nick Cannon, Jerry Ferrara, Caleb McLaughlin, Kris Wu and many more!
During the game, Watson played on Team Clippers and ended up scoring 2 points, pulled down 3 rebounds and have 1 assist. Watson was ordered from his wife, former WNBA player Angie Watson, to stay out of the paint only take open shots from the outside. Watson ignored his wife’s request and attempted to drive to the basket late in the 2nd quarter. Watson was rejected hard by former NBA player Tracy McGrady, who blocked Watson’s shot out of bounds. Quavo was the leading scorer in the NBA Celebrity game with 19 points.
Watson returned to the sport he knows and plays well on Saturday and the competitiveness must of been running through his veins as he shot a 6 under par, 65, to take a one-stroke lead at the Genesis open, heading into the final round on Sunday. Watson rolled through Sunday on his way to his 1st win of the year, his 3rd overall Genesis Open win and his 10th PGA Tour victory. This was the 1st win Bubba Watson had recorded on tour and 1st top 5 in nearly 2 years. A former #4 golfer in the world according to the Official World Golf Rankings, Watson had dropped all the way to #118. With the win at the Genesis open, Watson moved up to #40 and now will turn his focus towards the Masters.
Watson sort of needed a jumpstart in golf and this may have been exactly what the doctor ordered for Bubba. Watson had not finished in the top 25 since August 2017, and in the 3 prior PGA golf tournaments that Watson had played in during 2018, he had finished 35th at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, 40th at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, and missed the cut at the Career Builders Challenge.
Watson has said in the past that he has had some health issues that had gradually deteriorated and on several occasions he had considered retirement. With those issues in the past and a win under his belt, it appears that we may now have a rejuvenated Bubba Watson and a contender for the Masters.
Watson won the Masters back in 2014 and in 2012 but last year failed to make the cut. Watson is not scheduled to partake in this week’s Honda classic and it is unknown when he will return but it’s safe to say will play at least one or two more tournaments prior to the Masters.