Kuchar leads Sony Open by two shots

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

MATT Kuchar made it look easy Satur­day in the Sony Open. With no bo­geys on his card, it even felt easy to him.

Be­neath that cap is plenty of gray hair.

Be­neath that smile, he knows bet­ter.

“Lis­ten, the game of golf is not easy,” Kuchar said af­ter a 4-un­der 66 to take a two-shot lead over An­drew Put­nam into the fi­nal round. “It’s not of­ten you’re in full con­trol. Those times you’re not in full con­trol, you’re faced with a lot of sit­u­a­tions where golf is go­ing to find a way to stress you out and test you.”

He gets an­other test Sun­day, and Kuchar at least is equipped with re­cent ex­pe­ri­ence. In Novem­ber, he ended a four-year drought by win­ning the Mayakoba Clas­sic in Mex­ico on an­other course that re­quires keep­ing the ball in play off the tee for good chances to score. There’s an­other sim­i­lar­ity in the two events.

Kuchar had a 54-hole score of 193 in Mex­ico, the low­est of his ca­reer. He went one lower at the Sony Open at 18-un­der 192. Kuchar has made only one bo­gey through 54 holes at Wa­ialae, and he only came se­ri­ously close to one bo­gey un­til sav­ing par from a bunker on the par-3 17th.

“Good, steady golf,” Kuchar said. “It felt easy out there. I didn’t find my­self in any trou­ble.”

Put­nam was two shots be­hind af­ter a 67.

Keith Mitchell had a 63 to pull within four shots, along with Chez Reavie, who fell back with three straight bo­geys early on the back nine. Those were the only play­ers within five shots of the lead, and all of them are chas­ing Kuchar.

“I an­tic­i­pate need­ing an­other good score to­mor­row,” Kuchar said. “I know I can’t coast.”

Kuchar is 2-2 when he has the 54hole lead go­ing into the fi­nal round.

The only other time Kuchar won twice in the same sea­son was in 2013, when he won the Match Play Cham­pi­onship in Ari­zona in Fe­bru­ary and the Me­mo­rial in early June. That put him at No. 4 in the world, the high­est he has been in his ca­reer.

Kuchar was slid­ing his way out of the top 50 to­ward the end of last year, when he failed to make a Ry­der Cup or Pres­i­dents Cup team for the first time since 2009. But he had a good ses­sion with his swing coach in Dal­las, and it paid off two weeks later on the Gulf side of the Mex­i­can coast.

This was more of the same. –

Photo: As­so­ci­ated Press

Matt Kuchar hits from the 13th tee dur­ing the third round of the Sony Open golf tour­na­ment on Satur­day.

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