Matt Kuchar is the man to catch in the final round
14 January, 2019, 06:56
It's not often you're in full control. He rolled in a 12-footer to move two shots ahead of Putnam, eliciting a rare fist pump from the normally placid Kuchar, and added another on the very next hole to give himself plenty of breathing room.
Kuchar shot 22-under 258 for the week in Honolulu and overcame a rocky final-round start to lock up the four-shot win.
Matt Kuchar, in some of the best form of his career at age 40, vaulted to the lead after the second round at the Sony Open in Hawaii on Friday.
Putnam, who collected his maiden PGA Tour win at last year's Barracuda Championship, nailed a tricky three-footer for par at the last to clinch outright second on 18 under. But, his standing atop the leaderboard was threatened by one-time victor Andrew Putnam.
"It was not at all what I was looking for", Kuchar told the Golf Channel about his poor start.
Fellow American Keith Mitchell matched the day's best score, a seven-birdie 63, to jump into a tie for third with Chez Reavie (66), four shots behind Kuchar, who has made just one bogey through 54 holes.
"I want to see how great this year can be", Kuchar said.
Overlooked for last year's U.S. Ryder Cup team after an inconsistent summer, he hit the ground running in the new season and a win at the Mayakoba Classic in November, the eighth of his career, ended a five-year victory drought. It hopped into the back bunker, and he missed an 8-foot par putt to lose the lead.
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"Didn't feel as easy as the first two days", Putnam said.
"I anticipate needing another good score tomorrow, " Kuchar said. "Still played a good round".
Bryson DeChambeau had a 63 and led a large pack at 11-under 199, seven shots out of the lead for a slim chance at winning unless the leaders come back to the field.
Quote of the day: "It was nice to have that pressure, to come through and make some birdies coming in".
Jordan Spieth (MC): Spieth bounced back with a 66 following his 73 in Round 1, but it wasn't enough to make the cut (which he missed by one).
But Kuchar edged back in front when he pitched to three feet to set up a birdie at 10 before holing from 10 feet at the 12th, although Putnam then regained a share of the lead with a clutch 20-foot putt for birdie at the 13th. Love is not playing next week on the Big Island because he is playing the Singapore Open.