Kuchar Molder push each other into contention at PGA Championship

By Randall MellAugust 14, 2010, 5:00 am

2010 PGA Championship

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. – They’ve made their way through worse fog.

Matt Kuchar and Bryce Molder come uniquely prepared to lead the PGA Championship through the trouble that keeps blowing into Whistling Straits.

These former teammates at Georgia Tech played their way onto the leaderboard on a day that began with yet another weather delay.

In a different sense, Kuchar and Molder have fought their way out of the fog before, out of the malaise that once shrouded their careers after such promising starts.

Matt Kuchar
Matt Kuchar has two career PGA Tour victories. (Getty Images)
With a 3-under-par 69, Kuchar is the leader in the clubhouse in the suspended second round of the year’s final major championship. At 8-under 136, he’s a shot ahead of Nick Watney (67) and three ahead of a pack of players that includes Molder (67), Rory McIroy (68) and Dustin Johnson (68).

Kuchar was also the first-round leader. With a birdie over the final four holes of his suspended opening round early Friday morning, he closed out a 67.

On a day that started with a 2-hour and 40-minute fog delay, the third of the championship, Tiger Woods didn’t tee off for the second round until after 5 p.m. He made six consecutive pars before play was halted with darkness falling to remain at 1 under. He was among 78 players still on the course when play was halted at 7:27 p.m. (CT).

The second round will resume Saturday at 7 a.m. local time.

Phil Mickelson was able to complete his second round with a 69, leaving him six shots behind Kuchar.

“Not too much trouble to report in two rounds,” Kuchar said. “Just putting well and staying out of trouble.”

Kuchar, 32, and Molder, 31, know about the trouble golf can bring.

They were a pair of can’t-miss kids coming out of Georgia Tech who got lost on the way to stardom.

Kuchar won the U.S. Amateur in 1997, then made stirring runs as an amateur at the Masters (T-21) and U.S. Open (T-14) in ’98. As a pro, he won the Honda Classic in ’02, but he would lose his PGA Tour card and find himself fighting his way back via the Nationwide Tour.

Molder, who turned pro a year after Kuchar, was a four-time first-team All-American. He won his PGA Tour card on sponsor invites without even going to Q-School, but he would also lose it and spend four seasons trying to get it back via the Nationwide Tour.

The former Yellow Jackets are on the rise again.

“I think that’s the beauty of the sport,” Kuchar said. “There’s no guaranteed contract. You have to perform, and it’s a tough game.

“I think most people would have expected the two of us to be doing this earlier on in our career, but I remember talking to some guys when I was fresh on Tour, talking to them about a 10-year learning curve out there. It didn’t make much sense then. I went out and had a win straightaway in ’02 and thought it would be smooth sailing.”

Kuchar’s sails look full again. After winning his second PGA Tour title at Turning Stone last year, he’s logged eight top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour this season, more than any other player. He’s finished fourth or better four times. His 69.48 actual scoring average is best on Tour.

“The position I’ve put myself in, the logical next step would be to win,” said Kuchar, who’s never led a round in a major championship until this week and has one top-10 finish 20 majors.

But Kuchar said he sees a trap in thinking like that.

“Do you leave disappointed if you don’t win?” he said. “We came to the conclusion that the best way to approach it would be to have a goal for the week of putting yourself in contention on Sunday.

“To win, there’s definitely an element of luck involved. You just can’t control everything out there.”

Kuchar and Molder are pushing each other this week. They played two practice rounds together, but Molder found himself on the losing end of their bets.

Over 27 practice holes at Whistling Straits, Molder said Kuchar made 13 birdies.

“I actually still owe him,” Molder said.

How much?

“A little bit,” Molder said.

Their duel continued into the first two rounds with Kuchar and Molder in back-to-back pairings. They kept an eye on each other as they moved up the leaderboard.

Coming off the 13th green Thursday, Molder heard the roar when Kuchar holed out a wedge from 136 yards for eagle. On Friday, Molder watched Kuchar nearly repeat the feat.

“I’m never surprised by anything he does,” Molder said.

Molder’s making his own run this season. While he’s still looking for his first PGA Tour victory, he has a career best six top-10 finishes this year.

The duo would like nothing better than to push each other all the way to the end in bids to win the Wanamaker Trophy this weekend.

“Sometimes, it take a little while to figure out how to play your best, how to maximize your efforts out here, and I feel like he's just hitting his stride, and I feel like I'm doing the same,” Molder said.


Getty Images

Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...

2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title

Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open

Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59

Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63

Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut

Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club

Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth

The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ

Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year

And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win

Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.