Kuchar two ahead in Hawaii in bid for 9th PGA Tour win

Gulf Times Sport - - SPORT -

Matt Kuchar went bo­gey-free again to earn a two-stroke lead over An­drew Put­nam after the third round at the Sony Open in Hawaii on Satur­day.

An in­abil­ity to birdie the parfive 18th, where he hit a poor third shot, was the only mi­nor com­plaint Kuchar had after a four-un­der-par 66 at Wa­ialae Coun­try Club in Hon­olulu.

He recorded an 18-un­der 192 to­tal, while Put­nam drained a birdie at the last for a 67 to go 16-un­der. Fel­low Amer­i­can Keith Mitchell matched the day’s best score, a seven-birdie 63, to jump into a tie for third with Chez Reavie (66), four shots be­hind Kuchar, who has made just one bo­gey through 54 holes.

“It’s not of­ten you feel like you know what you’re do­ing with your swing and the ball’s re­act­ing the way you want it to and you’re able to ma­noeu­vre the ball the way you want,” Kuchar told re­porters. “It doesn’t hap­pen near as of­ten as most peo­ple think.”

Ac­cu­racy off the tee with his trusty fade on a short­ish course has worked a treat for the 40-year-old. “That’s my strength, find­ing the fair­way and around here it’s crit­i­cal. There are so many doglegs and this rough is nasty,” he said.

“It was aw­fully steady, bo­gey free, the kind of Golf I like to play, give your­self enough op­por­tu­ni­ties, enough will go in.”

Kuchar ended a nearly fiveyear drought when he won the Mayakoba Clas­sic in Novem­ber, his eighth PGA Tour win, and he said it was a good re­cent ex­pe­ri­ence to have in the mem­ory bank.

“I an­tic­i­pate need­ing an­other good round to­mor­row,” he said.

Sec­ond-placed Put­nam might fancy his chances of over­tak­ing a player whose rep­u­ta­tion as a closer is not ex­actly of the high­est or­der. Put­nam stayed within strik­ing dis­tance with­out play­ing his best.

“I didn’t hit the ball as well as first two days, so glad the put­ter was still warm,” he said.

“I’m just go­ing to stay ag­gres­sive. There’s a lot of birdies out there.

(Getty Images/AFP)

Matt Kuchar of the United States plays a shot on the tenth hole dur­ing the third round of the Sony Open In Hawaii at Wa­ialae Coun­try Club in Hon­olulu, Hawaii.

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