Kuchar in July 2008
|Full name||Matthew Gregory Kuchar|
|Born||June 21, 1978|
Winter Park, Florida
|Height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Weight||195 lb (88 kg; 13.9 st)|
|Residence||St. Simons Island, Georgia|
|Spouse||Sybi (née Parker) (m. 2003)|
|Current tour(s)||PGA Tour|
|Number of wins by tour|
|PGA Tour of Australasia||1|
|Best results in major championships|
|Masters Tournament||T3: 2012|
|U.S. Open||T6: 2010|
|The Open Championship||2nd: 2017|
|PGA Championship||T7: 2015|
|Achievements and awards|
leading money winner
|Byron Nelson Award||2010|
|Representing United States|
|2016 Rio de Janeiro||Golf|
Kuchar 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. Kuchar was the PGA Tour's leading money winner in 2010.
Kuchar won The Players Championship in 2012, the flagship event of the PGA Tour, his biggest tournament victory to date. 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.
With Steve Stricker playing part-time on the PGA Tour Champions, Kuchar ended the 2017–18 season as the highest-earning active full-time PGA Tour player without a major championship win, with career earnings of over $43.7 million. The closest he has come was his second place finish in the 2017 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale Golf Club.
- 1 Early years
- 2 Professional career
- 3 Personal life
- 4 Amateur wins (2)
- 5 Professional wins (15)
- 6 Results in major championships
- 7 World Golf Championships
- 8 PGA Tour career summary
- 9 U.S. national team appearances
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Kuchar was born in Winter Park, Florida, to a Ukrainian family. He went on to graduate from Seminole High School in Sanford in 1996. Later 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 semi-finals of the 1996 U.S. Amateur championship to Tiger Woods, Kuchar won the title in 1997. 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.
Kuchar turned professional in November 2000, after working briefly for a financial services firm. He missed the sign-up deadline for the 2000 qualifying school. In 2001 he was given sponsors' exemptions to some PGA Tour tournaments, and earned enough money to be fully exempt for the 2002 season.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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. Throughout the week, Kuchar was 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 en 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.
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. 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. 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. 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.
At the Sony Open in Hawaii in January, Kuchar opened with 65-63 to lead after two rounds. He stalled on the weekend, however, to finish tied for third. In the final round Kuchar failed to make a birdie, snapping his streak of 255 rounds on the PGA Tour with at least one birdie. The following week Kuchar tied for second, one stroke behind the winner, at the Humana Challenge.
In April, Kuchar contended at the RBC Heritage and finished in fifth place. His best performance in the season's majors came in August at the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin where he finished tied for seventh.
Kuchar had seven top-tens for the season but did not win a PGA Tour tournament for the first time in four years. He finished well down the money list after finishing in the top 10 in earnings in four of the preceding five seasons.
Kuchar had 9 top-10s heading into the 2016 Summer Olympics, and continued his good run with a bronze medal after a final round 63.
In the 2017 season, Kuchar competed in 26 events on the PGA Tour, making the cut in 22, including nine top-10 finishes. He finished tied for fourth at the Masters, his fourth top-10 finish in that event. At the Open Championship, Kuchar shared the first-round lead with Brooks Koepka and Jordan Spieth and finished rounds two and three in solo second behind Spieth. After Spieth's near meltdown on the 13th hole of the final round, Kuchar held a one-stroke lead with five holes to play. However, Spieth played the last five holes in five-under-par to claim the championship by three strokes over Kuchar, who finished three strokes ahead of third-place finisher Li Haotong. Kuchar finished the year 14th in the FedEx Cup standings and represented the United States in the President's Cup, posting a 2–1 record in the United States' win.
In the 2017–18 PGA Tour season, Kuchar had another winless campaign. He played in 24 events. He had four top-10 finishes and made 20 cuts. He won $1,720,097 for the year and finished 76th in the season long FedEx Cup.
U.S. Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk named Kuchar as a non-playing vice-captain for the U.S. team in the 2018 Ryder Cup. The U.S. team lost to the European team 17 1/2 to 10 1/2 at Le Golf National outside of Paris, France.
On November 11, 2018, Kuchar won the Mayakoba Golf Classic in Cancun, Mexico. This event was part of the 2018–19 PGA Tour season. Kuchar took home a winner's check of $1.296 million dollars and paid his caddie, David Giral Ortiz, the amount they agreed to for a top ten finish ($4,000) and an additional $1,000 on top of that to equal $5,000, which is a 0.38 percent tip of the $1.296 million, causing a social media controversy. This amount is below the average payout (10 percent) for a full-time caddie whose player wins. Because Kuchar's regular caddie was not available, Ortiz was hired and agreed to the terms presented, neither party disputes this. Ortiz has stated to Golf.com that he never expected the full 10 percent payout and "Matt is a good person and a great player. He treated me very well. I am only disappointed by how it all finished." When asked about giving his caddie such a low tip he defended his decision by stating "For a guy who makes 200 a day, a 5000 dollar week is a really big week".
Kuchar is married to the former Sybi Parker, who was a tennis player at Georgia Tech, and they live on St. Simons Island in Georgia. Their two sons are Cameron Cole and Carson Wright. Kuchar is a Christian.
Amateur wins (2)
Professional wins (15)
PGA Tour wins (9)
|Players Championships (1)|
|World Golf Championships (1)|
|FedEx Cup playoff event (1)|
|Other PGA Tour (6)|
|No.||Date||Tournament||Winning score||To par||Margin
|1||Mar 10, 2002||Honda Classic||68-69-66-66=269||−19||2 strokes||Brad Faxon, Joey Sindelar|
|2||Oct 5, 2009||Turning Stone Resort Championship||67-68-67-69=271||−17||Playoff||Vaughn Taylor|
|3||Aug 29, 2010||The Barclays||68-69-69-66=272||−12||Playoff||Martin Laird|
|4||May 13, 2012||The Players Championship||68-68-69-70=275||−13||2 strokes|| Ben Curtis, Rickie Fowler,|
Zach Johnson, Martin Laird
|5||Feb 24, 2013||WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship||2 and 1||Hunter Mahan|
|6||Jun 2, 2013||The Memorial Tournament||68-70-70-68=276||−12||2 strokes||Kevin Chappell|
|7||Apr 20, 2014||RBC Heritage||66-73-70-64=273||−11||1 stroke||Luke Donald|
|8||Nov 11, 2018||Mayakoba Golf Classic||64-64-65-69=262||−22||1 stroke||Danny Lee|
|9||Jan 13, 2019||Sony Open in Hawaii||63-63-66-66=258||−22||4 strokes||Andrew Putnam|
PGA Tour playoff record (2–1)
|1||2009||Turning Stone Resort Championship||Vaughn Taylor||Won with par on sixth extra hole|
|2||2010||The Barclays||Martin Laird||Won with birdie on first extra hole|
|3||2014||Shell Houston Open||Matt Jones||Lost to birdie on first extra hole|
Nationwide Tour wins (1)
|No.||Date||Tournament||Winning score||To par||Margin of
|1||May 21, 2006||Henrico County Open||71-67-69-72=279||−9||Playoff||Paul Claxton|
PGA Tour of Australasia wins (1)
|No.||Date||Tournament||Winning score||To par||Margin of
|1||Oct 18, 2015||Fiji International1||74-72-69-69=284||−4||4 strokes||Aron Price|
1 Co-sanctioned with the OneAsia Tour
Other wins (4)
- 2011 CVS Caremark Charity Classic (with Zach Johnson), Omega Mission Hills World Cup (with Gary Woodland)
- 2013 Franklin Templeton Shootout (with Harris English)
- 2016 Franklin Templeton Shootout (with Harris English)
Results in major championships
|The Open Championship||CUT|
|The Open Championship||CUT||CUT||CUT||CUT|
|The Open Championship||T27||CUT||T9||T15||T54||T58||T46||2||T9|
LA = Low amateur
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" = tied
|The Open Championship||0||1||0||1||3||4||14||8|
- Most consecutive cuts made – 14 (2013 Masters – 2016 Open Championship)
- Longest streak of top-10s – 2 (2017 Open Championship – 2017 PGA)
World Golf Championships
|Year||Championship||54 holes||Winning score||Margin
|2013||WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship||n/a||2 & 1||Hunter Mahan|
Results not in chronological order prior to 2015.
- QF, R16, R32, R64 = Round in which player lost in match play
- "T" = tied
- Note that the HSBC Champions did not become a WGC event until 2009.
PGA Tour career summary
* As of the 2018 season.
U.S. national team appearances
- Ryder Cup: 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016 (winners)
- Presidents Cup: 2011 (winners), 2013 (winners), 2015 (winners), 2017 (winners)
- World Cup: 2011 (winners), 2013, 2018
- Dorman, Larry (May 14, 2012). "Kuchar smiles, and grinds, his way to a signature Playerswin". PGA Tour. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
- Kendall, Mark (February 24, 2013). "Matt Kuchar beat Hunter Mahan 2&1 to win WGC Match Play Championship". Sky Sports. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
- Jurejko, Jonathan; Reddy, Luke (July 23, 2017). "Spieth wins The Open - watch highlights". BBC sport.
- "Matt Kuchar Tries To Explains the PGA to Nancy, Double Bogeys". Krikorian Writes. Retrieved January 11, 2016.
- "Molder chasing former GT teammate Kuchar". Vegas Insider. Associated Press. August 13, 2010. Retrieved October 15, 2013.
- Elling, Steve (October 6, 2001). "Kuchar Beats Long Odds". Orlando Sentinel.
- "Kuchar wins on sixth playoff hole". ESPN. Associated Press. October 5, 2009. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
- "Matt Kuchar claims first win of year". ESPN. Associated Press. August 30, 2010. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
- "Career Feats: Furyk named PGA Player of the Year; Kuchar earns first Vardon Trophy". PGA of America. November 15, 2010. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
- "Kuchar wins multiple Tour season-ending awards". PGA Tour. November 14, 2010. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
- "Steve Stricker wins Memorial by 1 shot". ESPN. Associated Press. June 6, 2011. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
- "U.S. team wins golf's World Cup". ESPN. Associated Press. November 27, 2011. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
- "Matt Kuchar wins as Ian Poulter finishes fourth". BBC Sport. February 24, 2013. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
- "Bowditch survives to win Texas Open by one stroke". Reuters. March 31, 2013. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
- "The Masters: Matt Jones earns Augusta debut with dramatic Houston win". CNN. April 6, 2013. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
- "Kuchar Rallies, Chips in for RBC Heritage Win". ABC News. April 20, 2013. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
- 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.
- "Walker runs away with victory at Sony Open". PGA Tour. January 18, 2015. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
- "Kuchar holds on to win Mayakoba Classic". Associated Press. November 11, 2018. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
- "Matt Kuchar defends paying caddie $5K: 'Can't make everybody happy'". ESPN. February 14, 2019. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
- Ferguson, Doug (January 14, 2019). "Another win for Kuchar, this victory with a rainbow". Associated Press. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
- Brown, Oliver (September 27, 2012). "Ryder Cup 2012: Webb Simpson and his born-again brotherhood come with a swing and a prayer". The Telegraph.