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

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

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.