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Classy Kuchar's Off to a Great Start

I’m happy that Matt Kuchar (Bridgestone Tour B XS) is on a roll with two wins in the 2018-19 PGA season.

Is there any player on the tour that is more liked by fans than Kuch?

Every time he plays and makes a great shot the crowd chants “Koooch” and he has a huge grin.

He is one of those players who are on the list of the best players not to win a Major.

I think back to the 2017 Open when he seemed to have the tournament practically in the bag when Jordan Speith (Titleist Pro V1x), who was in the final pairing with him, ran into major trouble on the 13th hole. Speith’s tee shot went way right and after finding his ball, albeit after what was one of the greatest searches of all time, on a steep hill that was actually closer to the 18th hole, he decided it was unplayable and gave up one stroke. His third shot was from the 13th hole practice green and somehow he managed to blast it all the way to just below the green. Then he executed a solid chip shot and follows it up with a solid putt from about 15 feet away to escape with only a one-over par. There’s an 18-plus minute video on YouTube of the Speith’s trials and tribulations on the hole.

Kuchar had a one-stroke lead, only to watch Speith record five consecutive birdies, one of which was from a far distance, to win by three shots.

So while Speith, in his mid-20s, received a victory hug from his mother, Kuchar, who is 15 years older, embraced his two children and his wife.

Unless you had a heart of stone you had to feel sympathy and empathy for Kuchar, who took the loss in stride. He did everything right, only to see one of the young phenoms in the game beat him with one of the most amazing recovery shots you will ever see and a hot putter.

The golfing gods can be truly merciless.

Kuchar took a cross-Atlantic flight to come to Canada to play in the Canadian Open a day later and suffered dizzy spells in the first round. He overcame it and went on to finish the round and made the cut.

Once again, he endeared himself to golf fans.

So that’s why it was cool to see Kuchar win the Sony Open in Hawaii by six shots with a final round of four-under par. It was Kuchar’s ninth PGA win.

Yes, it’s early and the big guns have yet to really participate regularly with the Masters about 12 weeks away, but a win is a win and the first-place prize is more than $1 million.

“I’m tickled, thrilled to have won two events this early in the year,” Kuchar said in his comments.

He won the Mayakoba Golf Classic in Mexico in early November, which had a winner’s purse of more than $1.2 million.

Kuchar is second overall in the FedEx Cup behind Xander Schauffele (Callaway Chrome Soft), less than 50 points in arrears, and is second on the power rankings.

And fans of Kuchar are loving it.

Perry Lefko
Perry Lefko
Perry Lefko is an award-winning writer who has published nine books, three of them bestsellers. He has been involved in sports writing for more than 35 years and has interviewed many superstar athletes. He lives in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada and enjoys watching golf and playing it.

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