Matt Kuchar fired a closing 66 at Waialae to win the Sony Open in Hawaii by four shots from Andrew Putnam and claim his second PGA Tour title of the season.
Matt Kuchar wins Sony Open in Hawaii
Having ended a four-year winless streak with victory in last November’s Mayakoba Classic, Matt Kuchar was victorious again on the PGA Tour, taking the Sony Open in Hawaii by four shots.
On paper, Kuchar’s victory in Hawaii appeared a straightforward one but that wasn’t the case. He led by two through 54 holes having played three superb rounds of 63, 63 and 66. But, with three bogeys in his first five holes on Sunday, Kuchar surrendered the lead to Andrew Putnam.
A clutch birdie putt on the 9th saved Kuch falling two back and he moved into a tie atop the board again after a great pitch up the slope on the 10th. The pair were level pegging until Putnam was unable to get up-and-down from sand on the 14th. Kuchar stole the initiative after that and pulled away with birdies on the 15th and 16th holes. In the end, the win for Kuch looked comfortable but it was only in the closing stages that he was able to fully take control.
“I kept plugging along, and I knew good things were going to happen,” said the champion.
Kuchar is the first player to win two events in the 2018-19 season on the PGA Tour. Before winning in Mexico last November, he hadn’t stepped into the winner’s circle since the 2014 RBC Heritage. He’s keen to push on from this great start to the season.
"I want to see how great this year can be," he said.
It was a great weekend for Canada’s Corey Conners. He narrowly missed out on gaining his PGA Tour card for the year and had to come through Monday qualifying to play in this event. By finishing tied third, to go with a second place in last autumn’s Sanderson Farms Championship, Conners has already earned nearly enough FedEx Cup points to secure privileges for next season.
Conners tied for third with Marc Leishman, Hudson Swafford and Chez Reavie.
Veteran Davis Love III closed with 65 to finish in a tie for seventh. He first played in the Sony Open 33 years ago in 1986.
Sony Open in Hawaii Waialae CC, Honolulu, Hawaii 10-13 Jan Purse: $6,400,000 Par: 70
1 Matt Kuchar (USA) 63 63 66 66 258 $1,152,000 2 Andrew Putnam (USA) 62 65 67 68 262 $691,200 T3 Corey Conners (Can) 68 67 64 64 263 $307,200 T3 Marc Leishman (Aus) 67 64 68 64 263 $307,200 T3 Chez Reavie (USA) 65 65 66 67 263 $307,200 T3 Hudson Swafford (USA) 65 67 67 64 263 $307,200 7 Davis Love III (USA) 67 68 64 65 264 $214,400 T8 Charles Howell III (USA) 69 66 64 66 265 $192,000 T8 Brian Stuard (USA) 66 69 64 66 265 $192,000 T10 Bryson DeChambeau (USA) 69 67 63 67 266 $160,000 T10 Sung Kang (Kor) 70 67 65 64 266 $160,000 T10 Sebastian Munoz (Col) 68 65 68 65 266 $160,000
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage
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Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly.
Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?
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