Golf

Matt Kuchar captures Memorial Trophy title

Kuchar won the sixth title of his career. (©GettyImages)
Kuchar won the sixth title of his career. (©GettyImages).

American Matt Kuchar claimed the sixth PGA Tour win of his career and his second success of 2013 with victory in the Memorial Tournament last weekend. 

Kuchar, who also won the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in February, headed a list of six Americans at the top of the leader board with his score of -12 giving him a two shot victory over his nearest rival Kevin Chappell. 

The 34 year-old made a clutch 5-foot, par saving putt on the 17th hole and then closed out his success by draining a 20-foot birdie putt on the final hole as both he and Chappell finished their final round at -4. 

A delighted Kuchar told reporters: "There are a couple of things I thought were missing from my pedigree, my golf history. A major championship is on the list but so was a multiple-win season. They were both goals I set at the beginning of the year."

Having achieved the latter of those ambitions Kuchar's next opportunity for a major success will come later this month at the U.S. Open. 

"I'll have a lot of confidence," he added. "I'd love it if I could show up and play good enough golf to win a major. It's something that is up there, No. 1 on the list. I want to do it and feel like I'm ready to do it. But I can only control so much of that equation." 

Known as a steady, if unspectacular player, an optimist with few issues with either his swing or mental approach, Kuchar came into his own in a week during which gusting winds and three weather delays on Thursday seemed to completely frustrate others. 

Defending champion, and five-time winner at the Memorial, Tiger Woods opened with rounds of 71 and 74 but then watched things fall apart. He suffered greatly through an 8-over 44 - his worst nine-hole score as a pro - in the swirling gusts on Friday. His round of 79 matched his second-worse score since turning pro in 1996, and included two double-bogeys and a triple-bogey.  

By Sunday, Woods was already 16 shots behind third-round leader Kuchar and he will head to the U.S. Open with several major questions as a result of his erratic iron play and poor putting.

Asked what he would work on ahead of the tournament Woods replied: "Everything", before adding: "You want everything clicking on all cylinders, especially at the U.S. Open, because everything is tested there." 

Rory McIlroy, the 2012 PGA Championship winner and 2011 U.S. Open champion, summed up a bad week for the British players as, like Woods, he was never a factor in the Memorial. His par score 72 in his final round at least restored a little of his confidence and ensured he finished two shots ahead of the current tour leader Woods.

"I hit the ball much better today," he commented after his fourth round, "I actually putted a little better too, so that feels pretty good." 

Brian Davis and Justin Rose were the best British finishers, with a score of -4 earning them a share of eighth place alongside American's Michael Thompson and Pat Perez, and Masters winner Charl Schwartzel. Ian Poulter finished three shots further back in an eight-way tie for 21st place, while Lee Westwood withdrew after a four over par first round. 


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Topics:
Rory McIlroy
Matt Kuchar
Golf
US Open Golf

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