Anthony Kim accepts the winner's trophy from Shell Oil President Marvin Odum.
Photograph: Richard Carson/Reuters
Kim, who started the final round tied for the lead, squandered the chance to win in regulation when he bogeyed the last hole after missing a six-foot par putt.
He carded 70 to tie Taylor, who birdied the last for 68, at 12-under-par 276 at Redstone.
Taylor, who needed to win to qualify for this week's U.S. Masters in his hometown of Augusta, made a mess of the first playoff hole, the par-four 18th, where Kim won with a par.
South African Charl Schwartzel (67) and Canadian Graham DeLaet (68) finished one stroke behind, tied for third.
It is the third win on the PGA Tour for 24-year-old Kim and a confidence-boosting tune-up for the Masters.
"It's been a very memorable week, maybe not all for great reasons," Kim told reporters.
"I was in some spots on the golf course I never thought I could possibly see, but I got out of those with pars and birdies this week and feel very confident going into next week.
Kim collected $1,044,000 for his third victory on the PGA Tour, after previously winning twice in 2008 had told NBC that he had a torn thumb ligament and may have to take time off after the Masters.
"At the beginning of the week, if you told me I was in a play-off, I don't know if I would have fully believed you, because I didn't know what I was expecting with my golf game.
"But I did a great job just staying patient, staying loose, and got the job done."
Taylor admitted that the occasion proved too much in the play-off.
"I made a great putt at the last, before the play-off," he told reporters. "I'm excited but hugely disappointed. It's a tough pill to swallow.
"I didn't quite get committed (in the play-off). So many things were going through my head and I didn't quite get back in the mode of playing.
"If I had a little more time, maybe I could have gotten focused."
It was a quiet week for several of the Masters favorites, with Phil Mickelson finishing at two-under, Ireland's Padraig Harrington one-under and South Africa's Ernie Els on even par.
- Reuters; (Editing by Greg Stutchbury)