Hot off Masters T-3, Kuchar ready for RBC

By Associated PressApril 11, 2012, 7:29 pm

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – Matt Kuchar wasn't smiling much Sunday night after his near miss at the Masters last week.

The world's 14th-ranked golfer had hoped a night in his own bed would prepare him for this week's RBC Heritage. Instead, Kuchar replayed the most critical shots of the round as he tied for the lead with three holes left, then gave it away with a bogey on the par-3 16th.

Kuchar, who gained his nice-guy reputation with his megawatt smile as a college golfer at Augusta National 14 years ago, finished in a tie for third behind Masters champion Bubba Watson.

''It was just not an easy night's sleep,'' Kuchar said.

Kuchar, though, woke up refreshed and ready for the next challenge which starts Thursday at Harbour Town Golf Links. Kuchar says he's learned not to spend much time looking back

''It's not real helpful to look at Monday morning's paper and say, 'What if I played just one shot better or two shots better,''' he said.

Kuchar and world No. 1 Luke Donald are among four of the top-20 ranked golfers teeing off at the rechristened RBC Heritage, which is on solid financial footing after two years of uncertainty. Watson, along with most of the other Masters competitors, is taking the week off.

Not Kuchar, who says he's just as excited about Harbour Town as he was for Augusta. That's how he's conducted himself since turning pro and he thinks it's helped him succeed on the PGA Tour.

''I want to win this tournament,'' Kuchar said. ''And the more I can make every tournament really important, I think it makes prep for the majors much easier.''

Kuchar understands what a Masters victory would've meant.

''It was an exciting place to have a chance,'' Kuchar said. ''I kept replaying in my mind all the great shots. And then the couple missed opportunities.''

Kuchar was a wide-eyed amateur from Georgia Tech when he made the cut at Augusta National in 1998 and 1999. He hadn't cracked the top 20 in his three Masters appearances before last week, but found himself tied for the lead Sunday when he knocked in a short eagle putt on the 15th hole.

Kuchar, who earned $9 million in 2010 and 2011, sent his tee shot right of the green on the 16th hole, could not get up and down and made a bogey that ultimately dropped him from contention. Kuchar's most regrettable error, he said, was a double bogey on the ninth. He chipped his third shot seven feet past the hold and three-putted.

''I think that chip shot is one that I know I can improve immensely upon,'' he said.

Donald hopes to improve his showing at Harbour Town. He was third here in 2010, then lost to Brandt Snedeker in a playoff last year when a tournament victory would've elevated him to No. 1. Donald subsequently reached that spot and, with No. 2 Rory McIlroy, No. 3 Lee Westwood and No. 4 Watson all off, is fairly secure on top, win or lose this week.

Donald had hoped to shed his mantle of one of the game's best players without a major at Augusta. But he had rounds of 75, 73 and 75 the first three days and finished tied for 32nd.

Now, Donald can concentrate on getting back to the successful golf that won him the Transitions Championship in Tampa, Fla., last month. Donald said the key here, as always, is hitting some of the smallest greens on the PGA Tour.

''Because of that you need a good short game,'' he said.

Webb Simpson (No. 13) and Bill Haas (No. 18) are the other golfers in the top 20 competing at Harbour Town.

It will be hard for anyone to follow Watson's drama-filled run to the green jacket. He seemingly had played himself out of the tournament on the second playoff hole with a tee shot way right into the trees on No. 10. Watson, though, hooked his approach onto the green and two-putted to defeat Louis Oosthuizen.

Watson likely earned as many fans for his emotional showing after the final putt dropped. He broke down in tears almost instantly and continued to cry on his mother's shoulders on the 10th green.

Aaron Baddeley, one of Watson's close friends, said the display was just Bubba being Bubba.

''Bubba wears his heart on his sleeve for everyone to see,'' said Baddeley, the 2006 RBC Heritage winner who stuck around to hug Watson after the Masters win.

Kuchar, Donald and the rest almost didn't have a tournament to come to before RBC and The Boeing Co. joined forces to back the event the next five years. Boeing is the RBC Heritage's presenting sponsor.

''There's a whole new excitement for the tournament,'' Snedeker said.

Getty Images

Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

Getty Images

Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm