Kuchar pulls away for four-shot Sony Open win

14 January, 2019, 08:11 | Author: Marlene Myers
  • Matt Kuchar is the man to catch in the final round

Matt Kuchar was model of consistency, shooting a bogey-free 66 Saturday in the third round of the PGA Tour's Sony Open to stretch his lead to two strokes over Andrew Putnam.

Second-placed Putnam birdied his final hole, the par-five ninth, thanks to a deft 30-yard pitch over a bunker and down to inside three feet.

Having made only one bogey through 54 holes to build a two-shot lead, Kuchar had three bogeys in his opening five holes Sunday and fell one shot behind Putnam.

Kuchar was sliding his way out of the top 50 toward the end of past year, when he failed to make a Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup team for the first time since 2009.

"Kuch is playing well, so I feel like I've got to get out there and make some birdies if it's not too windy", Putnam said.

The world number 32 said the quality of his play had been a little better on Thursday, even if his scores had been the same.

Kuchar was at 14-under 126, matching the lowest 36-hole score of his PGA Tour career. "If I just keep plugging along I know good things are going to happen".

More news: Two New HTC Vive VR Headsets Announced At CES 2019

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. He carded one under overall after rounds of 73 and a much-improved 66 in his first event of 2019.

Even so, the performance was big for the Listowel, Ont., native, who narrowly missed a full PGA Tour card previous year.

Australia's Marc Leishman finished in a four-way tie for third place at 17 under with Canada's Corey Conners and Americans Hudson Swafford and Chez Reavie. In his 2019 debut, Spieth had a 66 and missed the cut by one shot. His 64-65 weekend gave him a tie for seventh, and he now heads off to Singapore with hopes of earning a spot in the British Open. He's a victor again, and for a guy who loves Hawaii, he was thrilled to already have a spot reserved at Kapalua for the winners-only field 50 weeks from now.

"I didn't hit the ball as well as first two days, so glad the putter was still warm", he said.

Kuchar, who had been winless for almost four years until his win at the Mayakoba Classic late in 2018 now appears likely to add a 9th PGA Tour title just three months after his 8th.

The Sony Open in Hawaii is contested at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu on the island of Oahu.

Before he made the turn, Thomas rolled in a 12-foot putt for an eagle on the 9th hole.

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