Matt Kuchar: the man to beat?

With fond memories on The Athletic Club, a huge win under his belt and one of the most solid games in world golf, Matt Kuchar looks set to contend at the 2012 U.S. Open in June

Matt Kuchar wins The Players Championship

Matt Kuchar will go into the U.S. Open Championship full of confidence, and whilst the bookies have him as 28/1 to clinch his first major championship, he is arguably the man to beat.

Not only has one of the most consistent performers in the world game just come off the biggest victory of his professional career, but he returns, from June 14-17, to the golf course where he won the title of low amateur some 14 years ago.

In June 1998, on his 20th birthday, Kuchar finished in a tie for 14th, the year after clinching the U.S. Amateur title at Cog Hill, and those memories will stand him in good stead.

But it's hardly as if Kuchar needs those fond memories.

Aside from Jason Dufner, he is the form player in world golf. In his 11 starts this season, Kuchar - fifth in the Official World Golf Ranking - has recorded nine top 25 finishes, including five top tens.

He finished in a tie for third at Augusta, before a flawless showing at TPC Sawgrass gave him victory at the 'unofficial fifth major' of the season and the title of Players Champion.

His temperament and patience is second to none, something so vital when trying to negotiate the toughest tournament of the year, and one of the hardest first six holes in major championship history.

In addition, Kuchar is one of the straightest on the PGA Tour. He is 31st in Driving Accuracy, 15th in Greens in Regulation and, unsurprisingly, second in overall scoring average.

Given all the above, it would be a big surprise if Kuchar wasn't in contention come Sunday.

Nick Bonfield
Features Editor

Nick Bonfield joined Golf Monthly in 2012 after graduating from Exeter University and earning an NCTJ-accredited journalism diploma from News Associates in Wimbledon. He is responsible for managing production of the magazine, sub-editing, writing, commissioning and coordinating all features across print and online. Most of his online work is opinion-based and typically centres around the Majors and significant events in the global golfing calendar. Nick has been an avid golf fan since the age of ten and became obsessed with the professional game after watching Mike Weir and Shaun Micheel win The Masters and PGA Championship respectively in 2003. In his time with Golf Monthly, he's interviewed the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Jose Maria Olazabal, Henrik Stenson, Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood and Billy Horschel and has ghost-written columns for Westwood, Wayne Riley, Matthew Southgate, Chris Wood and Eddie Pepperell. Nick is a 12-handicap golfer and his favourite courses include Old Head, Sunningdale New, Penha Longha, Valderrama and Bearwood Lakes. If you have a feature pitch for Nick, please email with 'Pitch' in the subject line. Nick is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade M1 Fairway wood: TaylorMade RBZ Stage 2 Hybrid: Ping Crossover Irons (4-9): Nike Vapor Speed Wedges: Cleveland CBX Full Face, 56˚, Titleist Vokey SM4, 60˚ Putter: testing in progress! Ball: TaylorMade TP5x