Sunday swing lesson helped Kuchar close the deal


Sunday was going to be different, Chris O’Connell could tell.

In all his time working with Matt Kuchar it was rare when O’Connell and his top player talked during the week of a tournament. It was even rarer when they did it on a Sunday before a final round. Via text message, no less.

“It’s unlike him to call during a tournament,” O’Connell said. “(But) he needed a special round and to do that he needed to be really in control of his ball flight.”

Done and done.

Kuchar closed with a 64 at the RBC Heritage, a round that included hole-out bunker shot at the 72nd hole for birdie, to beat Luke Donald by a stroke and claim his first victory of the 2013-14 season.

Kuchar and Dallas-based O’Connell worked together during the Texas swing heading into the Masters, but the eventual champion at Harbour Town Golf Links still didn’t feel comfortable with his swing which prompted the electronic lesson on Sunday.

“He had a few questions. A couple different swing thoughts,” O’Connell said. “He had a different swing thought at Houston than he had at Augusta. There are two things we are trying to do and you can’t fall in love with one of them. You need to incorporate both of them.”

The result was Kuchar’s first sub-par Sunday round on the PGA Tour since January and a victory following close calls at the Masters (T-5), Shell Houston Open (playoff loss) and Valero Texas Open (T-4).