Matt Kuchar starts Hawaii vacation with a victory

14 January, 2019, 09:02 | Author: Nicole Aguilar
  • Matt Kuchar is the man to catch in the final round

It took a while for Matt Kuchar to disentangle himself from a suddenly-crowded Sony Open leaderboard on Sunday, but when he finally put the hammer down, he did so emphatically and cruised to his second victory of the still-very-young 2018-19 PGA Tour season. He then reeled off two more over the first three holes after making the turn to regain the lead.

"I didn't hit the ball as well as first two days, so glad the putter was still warm", he said.

"It was awfully steady, bogey free, the kind of golf I like to play, give yourself enough opportunities, enough will go in".

The world number 32 said the quality of his play had been a little better on Thursday, even if his scores had been the same.

Chez Reavie, after consecutive 65s, and Stewart Cink (62, with nine birdies) are joint third at 10-under 130, four shots adrift.

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He won the Mayakoba Classic in Mexico two months ago, another finish that was tighter than it needed to be. "Some of those bogeys - there was a three-putt and a bad wedge shot".

The only other time Kuchar won twice in the same season was in 2013, when he won the Match Play Championship in Arizona in February and the Memorial in early June. He finished top five in both events, and following his win last fall at the CIMB Classic should be considered one of the players best positioned to break into the upper crust of golf as we head toward the heart of the season. He holed out for eagle three times from the fairway - a sand wedge from 101 yards on No. 10 at the start of his round; a 9-iron from 149 yards on No. 16, and a gap wedge from 135 yards on No. 6.

He finished at 22-under 258, the third-lowest total in Waialae history behind the PGA Tour record of 253 by Justin Thomas in 2017 and Jimmy Walker's 72-hole score of 257 when he won in 2015. "They may always be there, but you get more comfortable with it". He went long of the second green, leading to bogey. He carded one under overall after rounds of 73 and a much-improved 66 in his first event of 2019. "I feel like I was trying to win the tournament trying to make the cut, which is not something I want to get used to". Marc Leishman, Hudson Swafford, Chez Reavie and Corey Conners were T-3 at 17 under.

It was a hard day for 11-time PGA Tour champion Spieth, who had four bogeys and just one birdie to be tied for 127th and 12 shots off the pace.

"Andrew was tough. He was battling me, took the was nice to have that pressure, to have come through and to make some birdies coming in".


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