All of a Sudden Matt Kuchar Can't Stop Winning Again
TOURNAMENT victories can be a bit like London buses. You wait 1,6567 days for one to come along and, before you know it, you have picked up another. In the case of Matt Kuchar, the Sony Open represented his second success of the season and came just 64 days after the first. It was his ninth PGA Tour win and it took the 40-year-old to second in the FedExCup behind Xander Schauffele.
“I'm tickled, thrilled to have won two events this early in the year,” Kuchar said. “To have won two out of three starts on the PGA TOUR is mind boggling to me. It absolutely sets up the year to be in great position for the FedExCup. There is a lot of year left and a lot of great things that are out there to be done.”
Having started the final round two shots in front of Andrew Putnam, Kuchar made the turn one behind last season’s Barracuda Championship winner after some early struggles. But a five-under 30 back nine took him to 22 under, four in front of Putnam.
Kuchar, one of the most popular players on the tour, is keen to emulate Vijay Singh, who enjoyed the bulk of his success after turning 40. Singh won 22 times after hitting 40, including the FedExCup in 2008.
“I would certainly like to do what Singh did,” Kuchar said. “He set a great example. Certainly showed that is possible. A number of guys showed that it is possible. It's nice to know that.
“It's not like you hit 40 and you have to go away. There are guys that have done great. Certainly I'm off to a way better start than I would've expected. Feels good. I hope to continue.”
While the PGA TOUR is getting younger and younger each year the veteran continues to adapt impressively.
“Thankfully golf requires so many different things to be going right. It's not just power game or a putting game,” Kuchar added.
“There are so many facets to the game that it allows people to play for a long time and play competitively and play great for a long time. I am grateful that the game requires so many different facets to it. It's not just a long-drive contest.”
Putnam putted brilliantly for four days, including a clutch 20-foot birdie on the 13th hole in the final round to join the lead. Over the course of the four rounds he led the field in Strokes Gained: Putting (+10.894), making an incredible 447 feet, seven inches worth of putts.
“I just felt like I was seeing the line and speed really well,” Putnam explained. “I usually die my putts in and play a lot of break. On these greens that's what you got to do. I felt like I was rolling it right on my line and felt really comfortable on the greens.”
Sadly for the 29-year-old his golden touch deserted him down the stretch. He missed a critical 12-footer for par on the 14th hole and couldn’t convert back-to-back 20-foot birdie efforts on the 15th and 16th as winner Matt Kuchar pulled away.
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