Kuchar (68) notches best finish in over a year


PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – While it wasn’t enough to catch Jason Day, a final-round 68 at The Players Championship helped Matt Kuchar notch his best finish in over a year.

After four straight rounds of par or better, Kuchar finished the week in a tie for third, five shots behind Day. It marked his best result since a runner-up finish at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January 2015, and it’s his best showing at TPC Sawgrass since he won the Tour’s flagship event in 2012.

It also extends a streak of consistency for Kuchar, who has finished T-13 or better in six of his 11 starts this year.

“This is a good week. I knew my game was on good form,” Kuchar said. “I’ve been playing some nice golf for the past month.”

Kuchar was feeling sick earlier in the week, and he didn’t drive down from his home in St. Simons Island, Ga., until Thursday morning. That meant no pre-tournament preparation on the Stadium Course, but it’s a layout Kuchar knows well and he was still able to card only a single bogey in three of his four rounds this week.

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For Kuchar, a big key to his success this week was going back to an old putting stance where he is more crouched over the ball.

“It seemed like last year I would get clicking with ball-striking and putting would be off; putting would be on and ball-striking wouldn’t quite be on,” he said. “That’s the nature of this game, but I felt like now things are all starting to click and it was definitely a fun week and a good week for me.”

While Kuchar started the day eight shots back and never had a realistic shot at winning, his bogey-free back nine helped him climb up the leaderboard, and it further bolstered his confidence heading into a busy summer as he chases his first win since the 2014 RBC Heritage.

“Just having the ability to hit quality shots, find fairways, the ability to attack pins when you have the chance, it’s a huge positive,” he said. “To have that stay for an extended time makes me very excited about the future stretch of golf for me.”