Tuesday, 22 January, 2019

Kuchar starts Hawaii vacation with a victory

Matt Kuchar of the United States plays his shot from the fifth tee during the second round of the Sony Open In Hawaii at Waialae Country Club on 11 January 2019 in Honolulu Hawaii Matt Kuchar Highlights | Round 3 | Sony Open 2019
Cassandra Castillo | 14 January, 2019, 06:56

Chez Reavie, who had an impressive performance Friday, fell into a two-way tie for third place (14 under) with Keith Mitchell.

Kuchar had a 54-hole score of 193 in Mexico, the lowest of his career. Thanks to a round-opening bogie and a double bogie on the 4th hole, Reavie began the round 3-over and needing a miracle to keep up with leader Matt Kuchar, who posted back-to-back 63s in the tournament's first two rounds. They traded birdies on the 12th and 13th, and Kuchar took over from there.

Kuchar ended a almost five-year drought when he won the Mayakoba Classic in November, his eighth PGA Tour win, and he said it was a good recent experience to have in the memory bank. But, his standing atop the leaderboard was threatened by one-time victor Andrew Putnam.

"Last year I probably ground harder than I've done in the past", he said.

US veteran Matt Kuchar shook off a slow start and pulled away for a four-shot victory over Andrew Putnam Sunday in the US PGA Tour Sony Open in Hawaii.

"To shoot seven under back-to-back is unexpected, but awfully excited", Kuchar said.

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Putnam closed with a 68 and moved into the top 50 for the first time in his career. Kuchar walked in a birdie putt on the par-4 15th, and with Putnam in trouble on the par-4 16th, Kuchar put his approach to 11 feet.

"Didn't feel as easy as the first two days", Putnam said.

Andrew was tough there. "Still got a chance". There are a lot of good players out there.

A handful of golfers are tied inside the top 10, including Brandt Snedeker, Jason Dufner and Cameron Smith, who are in a seven-way tie for seventh place after shooting 66s. Davis Love III shot 6-under 64 to join DeChambeau, as well as Charles Howell III (6 under) and Marc Leishman (2-under 68). That added to the stress-free feeling of a round, and the overall control he feels in his game. "He was battling me, took the lead and it was nice to have that pressure and come through, make some birdies coming in". "If it's like today, it's going to be scorable".

The 25-year-old won the Memorial Tournament, the Northern Trust and the Dell Technologies Championship in 2018, and moved up 30 places after mixing just one bogey with eight birdies, including three in a row on the way back to the clubhouse.

The Sony Open is more about work than play, and he's having just as much fun. "I have to stay aggressive".

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