Kuchar (66) in contention for first major title


PITTSFORD, N.Y. – As a rule, when Matt Kuchar gets an opportunity to work with swing coach Chris O’Connell good things normally happen.

Earlier this year during the PGA Tour’s Texas swing, Kuchar spent the better part of two weeks with Dallas-based O’Connell, finished second at the Colonial and won his next start at the Memorial.

It was little surprise then that after working with O’Connell last week at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and this week at Oak Hill, Kuchar has opened with rounds of 67-66 and is two strokes behind leader Jason Dufner at 7 under.

“He is hitting it unbelievably,” said Kuchar’s caddie Lance Bennett. “The bogey at (No.) 18 was his first all week.”

Kuchar has established himself among the best players who have not won a major following top-10 finishes the last two years at Augusta National and last year’s Open Championship.

He also has an understandable affinity for Oak Hill, where he advanced to the quarterfinals of the 1998 U.S. Amateur.