Matt Kuchar

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Matt Kuchar
— Golfer —
Matt Kuchar cropped.jpg
Kuchar in July 2008
Personal information
Full name Matthew Gregory Kuchar
Nickname Kuch
Born (1978-06-21) June 21, 1978 (age 36)
Winter Park, Florida, U.S.
Height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight 195 lb (88 kg; 13.9 st)
Nationality  United States
Residence Sea Island, Georgia
Spouse Sybi (neé Parker) (m. 2003)
Children Cameron, Carson
Career
College Georgia Tech
Turned professional 2000
Current tour(s) PGA Tour
Professional wins 11
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour 7
Web.com Tour 1
Other 3
Best results in major championships
Masters Tournament T3: 2012
U.S. Open T6: 2010
The Open Championship T9: 2012
PGA Championship T10: 2010
Achievements and awards
PGA Tour
leading money winner
2010
Vardon Trophy 2010
Byron Nelson Award 2010

Matthew Gregory Kuchar (born June 21, 1978) is an American professional golfer who plays on the PGA Tour and formerly the Nationwide Tour. He has won seven times on the PGA Tour, with these wins spanning over 12 years. He briefly enjoyed success in the early 2000s before suffering a slump where he struggled to maintain his playing status on the PGA Tour. He rejuvenated himself and built a new, one-plane swing from 2008 onward leading to improved results. He is renowned as one of the most consistent players on the tour, having earned close to $15 million in prize money and recorded 30 top-10 finishes between 2009-2012. This included finishing as the PGA Tour's leading money winner in 2010.

Kuchar won the The Players Championship in 2012, the flagship event of the PGA Tour, his biggest tournament victory to date.[1] As a result, he moved to a career high number five in the world rankings and has spent over 40 weeks ranked inside its top-10. In February 2013, Kuchar won his first World Golf Championship event, defeating Hunter Mahan in the final of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.[2]

Early years[edit]

Born in Winter Park, Florida, Kuchar graduated from Seminole High School in Sanford in 1996. He attended Georgia Tech in Atlanta, where he was a two-time first-team All-American on the Yellow Jackets' golf team. After narrowly losing in the finals of the 1996 U.S. Amateur championship to Tiger Woods, Kuchar won the title in 1997 (his final amateur event before turning pro). He received the Haskins Award in 1998 as the nation's top collegiate golfer, and was the low amateur at both The Masters and U.S. Open. He turned pro in 2000 after earning his bachelor's degree in management. One of Kuchar's teammates at Georgia Tech was future PGA Tour professional Bryce Molder.[3]

Professional career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Kuchar's first win on the PGA Tour came at the Honda Classic in 2002. A tough year in 2005 saw him win under $403,000, 159th on the money list, which caused a loss of his tour card. He failed to regain it at qualifying school and played on the Nationwide Tour in 2006. Kuchar won its Henrico County Open and finished tenth on the Nationwide Tour money list to earn back his PGA Tour card for 2007. He retained his card for the next two seasons by finishing 115th on the money list in 2007 and 70th in 2008.

2009[edit]

Seven years after his first PGA Tour win, Kuchar won for a second time during the Fall Series in 2009 at the Turning Stone Resort Championship. He prevailed in a playoff over Vaughn Taylor that concluded on Monday due to darkness on Sunday evening.[4]

2010[edit]

Kuchar made the Ryder Cup team in 2010, taking the eighth and last merit position on the 12-man U.S. squad on August 15. At the time, Kuchar led the PGA Tour in top-10 finishes for the year, but had not won a tournament in 2010. The winless streak ended two weeks later at The Barclays on August 29, which was played at the Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, New Jersey; Kuchar defeated Martin Laird on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff.[5]

Kuchar won the Vardon Trophy[6] and Byron Nelson Award in 2010 for lowest scoring average and the PGA Tour's Arnold Palmer Award for leading the money list.[7]

2011[edit]

Kuchar started off 2011 well with three consecutive top-10 finishes in the first three weeks of the season. He finished T6 at the opening PGA Tour event, the Hyundai Tournament of Champions on Maui. The following week at the Sony Open in Hawaii, he played his way to a T5 finish and then at the Bob Hope Classic achieved a T7 finish.

In February, Kuchar reached the semi-finals of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, where he suffered a 6&5 defeat by eventual champion Luke Donald. In the 3rd place playoff match, he defeated fellow American Bubba Watson, 2&1. Previously during the week Kuchar had beaten Anders Hansen on the 22nd hole in round one, Bo Van Pelt in round two, Rickie Fowler in round three and Y.E. Yang at the quarter-final stage.

Kuchar finished tied for second at the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village in June 2011 behind Steve Stricker.[8] This was his eighth top-10 finish of the season and took him to his highest ranking to date of world number six. Kuchar finished second at The Barclays, two strokes behind the winner, Dustin Johnson. The tournament was shortened to 54 holes due to Hurricane Irene. This finish moved him to second in the FedEx Cup standings. Kuchar and Gary Woodland combined to win the Omega Mission Hills World Cup in November.[9]

2012[edit]

Kuchar had his best performance in a major championship at The Masters when he finished in a tie for third. Kuchar was tied for the lead on the back nine on Sunday, but bogeyed the par three 16th and finished two strokes out of the playoff between Bubba Watson and Louis Oosthuizen.

Kuchar won the biggest tournament of his career in May when he won The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. He shot a final round of 70 (−2) to win by two strokes over runners-up Rickie Fowler, Martin Laird, Ben Curtis, and Zach Johnson. He entered the final round in the last group, one stroke behind Kevin Na. After bogeying the first hole, he played a near-perfect round, except for a three-putt bogey on the 17th, to hold off the challengers. The win elevated Kuchar to a career high of number five in the world rankings.

2013[edit]

He won the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in February, defeating Hunter Mahan 2&1 in the final. During the final, Kuchar built up an early lead and was 4 up at the turn. Mahan mounted a comeback on the back nine, winning four of the next seven holes to trail by just one with two to play. Mahan's wild drive on the par-4 17th put him in trouble, and after Kuchar knocked his approach close, Mahan failed to chip in for par and conceded the hole, which ended the match and gave Kuchar his first World Golf Championship title.[10] Throughout the week, Kuchar has never more than one down in any of his matches and only trailed three times on his way to the win. He defeated Hiroyuki Fujita, Sergio García, Nicolas Colsaerts, Robert Garrigus and Jason Day on route to the final. Kuchar moved back into the world's top 10 after this victory. His second win in 2013 came at the Memorial Tournament in early June.

2014[edit]

In the final round of the Valero Texas Open in March, Kuchar held a share of the lead with nine holes to play but bogeyed the 10th and 11th holes and finished T-4.[11] The next week, he had a four-stroke lead going into the final round at the Shell Houston Open but lost a playoff to Matt Jones' 42-yard chip-in on the first extra hole.[12] Kuchar was again in contention the following week at the Masters Tournament, where he was tied for the lead on Sunday before four-putting the fourth hole and finishing T-5.

A week later, Kuchar won for the seventh time on the PGA Tour with a one stroke victory at the RBC Heritage. He shot a final-round 64, which included a chip-in birdie from a greenside bunker on the 18th hole to come from four shots behind and claim victory.[13] Kuchar held the lead after the opening round, but followed this with 73-70 over rounds two and three to fall four shots back going into the final round. He birdied seven of his opening eleven holes in the final round, to move clear of the field. However he three-putted from within four feet on the 17th hole to make bogey and fall back into a tie with Luke Donald. After hitting his approach to the 18th hole into a greenside bunker, Kuchar holed out for birdie and moved one shot ahead of Donald once again. Donald was unable to birdie any of the last three holes and Kuchar claimed the victory.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Kuchar is married to the former tennis player Sybi Parker, who was a tennis player at Georgia Tech, and they live at St. Simons Island in Georgia. Their two sons are Cameron Cole and Carson Wright. Kuchar is a Christian.[15]

Amateur wins (2)[edit]

Professional wins (11)[edit]

PGA Tour wins (7)[edit]

Legend
World Golf Championships (1)
FedEx Cup playoff event (1)
Other PGA Tour (5)
No. Date Tournament Winning score To par Margin of
victory
Runner(s)-up
1 Mar 10, 2002 Honda Classic 68-69-66-66=269 −19 2 strokes United States Brad Faxon, United States Joey Sindelar
2 Oct 5, 2009 Turning Stone Resort Championship 67-68-67-69=271 −17 Playoff United States Vaughn Taylor
3 Aug 29, 2010 The Barclays 68-69-69-66=272 −12 Playoff Scotland Martin Laird
4 May 13, 2012 The Players Championship 68-68-69-70=275 −13 2 strokes United States Ben Curtis, United States Rickie Fowler,
United States Zach Johnson, Scotland Martin Laird
5 Feb 24, 2013 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship 2 and 1 United States Hunter Mahan
6 Jun 2, 2013 The Memorial Tournament 68-70-70-68=276 −12 2 strokes United States Kevin Chappell
7 Apr 20, 2014 RBC Heritage 66-73-70-64=273 −11 1 stroke England Luke Donald

PGA Tour playoff record (2–1)

No. Year Tournament Opponent Result
1 2009 Turning Stone Resort Championship United States Vaughn Taylor Won with par on sixth extra hole
2 2010 The Barclays Scotland Martin Laird Won with birdie on first extra hole
3 2014 Shell Houston Open Australia Matt Jones Lost to birdie on first extra hole

Nationwide Tour wins (1)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Winning score To par Margin
of victory
Runner-up
1 May 21, 2006 Henrico County Open 71-67-69-72=279 −9 Playoff United States Paul Claxton

Other wins (3)[edit]

Results in major championships[edit]

Tournament 1998 1999
Masters Tournament T21LA T50
U.S. Open T14LA CUT
The Open Championship CUT DNP
PGA Championship DNP DNP
Tournament 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Masters Tournament DNP DNP CUT DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
U.S. Open DNP DNP CUT DNP DNP CUT CUT DNP T48 CUT
The Open Championship DNP DNP CUT DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT CUT CUT
PGA Championship DNP DNP CUT DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
Tournament 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Masters Tournament T24 T27 T3 T8 T5
U.S. Open T6 T14 T27 T28 T12
The Open Championship T27 CUT T9 T15 T54
PGA Championship T10 T19 CUT T22 DNP

LA = Low Amateur
DNP = Did not play
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" = tied
Yellow background for top-10.

Summary[edit]

Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 0 0 1 2 3 5 8 7
U.S. Open 0 0 0 0 1 4 12 7
The Open Championship 0 0 0 0 1 2 10 4
PGA Championship 0 0 0 0 1 3 6 3
Totals 0 0 1 2 6 14 36 21
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 7 (2013 Masters – 2014 Open, current)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 1 (six times)

World Golf Championships[edit]

Wins (1)[edit]

Year Championship 54 holes Winning score Margin
of victory
Runner-up
2013 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship n/a 2 & 1 United States Hunter Mahan

Results timeline[edit]

Tournament 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Accenture Match Play Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Cadillac Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Bridgestone Invitational T38 DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Tournament 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Accenture Match Play Championship DNP R32 3 QF 1 R16
Cadillac Championship DNP T3 5 T8 T35 T13
Bridgestone Invitational DNP T9 T19 T8 T27 T12
HSBC Champions T19 DNP DNP DNP DNP
  • DNP = Did not play
  • QF, R16, R32, R64 = Round in which player lost in match play
  • "T" = tied
  • Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10.
  • Note that the HSBC Champions did not become a WGC event until 2009.

PGA Tour career summary[edit]

Season Wins Earnings (US$) Rank
2001 0 572,669 92
2002 1 1,237,725 49
2003 0 176,047 182
2004 0 509,257 139
2005 0 402,786 159
2006 0 30,297 241
2007 0 886,146 115
2008 0 1,447,638 70
2009 1 2,489,193 24
2010 1 4,910,477 1
2011 0 4,233,920 6
2012 1 3,903,065 11
2013 2 5,616,808 3
2014* 1 3,121,107 4
Career* 7 29,537,134 16

* As of April 20, 2014.

U.S. national team appearances[edit]

Amateur

Professional

See also[edit]

Equipment[edit]

As of April 3, 2013:[16]

  • Driver: Bridgestone J40 430
  • 3 Wood: Ping Anser
  • Hybrid: Ping Anser
  • Driving Iron: Fourteen Tour Prototype
  • Irons: Bridgestone J40 Cavity Back Custom Black Oxide Finish (5-PW)
  • Wedges: Bridgestone J40 Black Oxide (52, 56 Degrees)
  • Putter: Bettinardi Matt Kuchar Proto DASS FitFace
  • Ball: Bridgestone Tour B330-S

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dorman, Larry (May 14, 2012). "Kuchar smiles, and grinds, his way to a signature Playerswin". PGA Tour. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  2. ^ Kendall, Mark (February 24, 2013). "Matt Kuchar beat Hunter Mahan 2&1 to win WGC Match Play Championship". Sky Sports. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Molder chasing former GT teammate Kuchar". Vegas Insider. Associated Press. August 13, 2010. Retrieved October 15, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Kuchar wins on sixth playoff hole". ESPN. Associated Press. October 5, 2009. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Matt Kuchar claims first win of year". ESPN. Associated Press. August 30, 2010. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Career Feats: Furyk named PGA Player of the Year; Kuchar earns first Vardon Trophy". PGA of America. November 15, 2010. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Kuchar wins multiple Tour season-ending awards". PGA Tour. November 14, 2010. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Steve Stricker wins Memorial by 1 shot". ESPN. Associated Press. June 6, 2011. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  9. ^ "U.S. team wins golf's World Cup". ESPN. Associated Press. November 27, 2011. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Matt Kuchar wins as Ian Poulter finishes fourth". BBC Sport. February 24, 2013. Retrieved February 26, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Bowditch survives to win Texas Open by one stroke". Reuters. March 31, 2013. Retrieved April 20, 2013. 
  12. ^ "The Masters: Matt Jones earns Augusta debut with dramatic Houston win". CNN. April 6, 2013. Retrieved April 20, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Kuchar Rallies, Chips in for RBC Heritage Win". ABC News. April 20, 2013. Retrieved April 20, 2013. 
  14. ^ Dawes, Mike (April 20, 2014). "Matt Kuchar masterstroke wins him the RBC Heritage ahead of England's Luke Donald". Daily Mail. Retrieved May 21, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Ryder Cup 2012: Webb Simpson and his born-again brotherhood come with a swing and a prayer". 
  16. ^ "WITB: Matt Kuchar". Golf WRX. February 11, 2013. Retrieved October 15, 2013. 

External links[edit]