Kuchar starts Hawaii vacation with a victory

Elena Summers
January 14, 2019

The Sony Open is more about work than play, and he's having just as much fun.

Putnam took a one-shot lead after Kuchar dropped three bogeys in his first five holes but could not keep pace on the back nine where he stalled at even par while Kuchar was on fire.

Kuchar used a hot putter to roll in four birdies and missed just two greens in regulation on the Waialae Country Club course in Hawaii to move to 18-under 192 overall.

- PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) January 13, 2019 " rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" tied his career low round of 63.

He posted a 14-under 126 halfway total, one stroke better than fellow American Andrew Putnam, who shot a bogey-free 65.

Keith Mitchell had a 63 and was four behind, along with Chez Reavie (66).

Jordan Spieth had a short week after a long break from golf. The other two were sloppy - a three-putt across the back of the fourth green, and a wedge into No. 5 that he was begging to get down as soon as it left his club.

"It was not at all what I was looking for", Kuchar told the Golf Channel about his poor start. "I look forward to the rest of the year to try and continue to see how great this year can be".

He returns in two weeks at Torrey Pines.

Putnam was two shots behind after a 67. The Saitama native fell three places down the leaderboard following his opening round of 65. He maintained his lead through the back nine as Putnam began to trail by more with a bogey on the par-4 16th.

"Three-putting the second was frustrating".

The finish was better than he could have imagined.

Five-time PGA Tour victor Hideki Matsuyama is 10 shots off the lead, tied for 35th, after also shooting a 3-under 67.

Kuchar shot 22-under 258 for the week in Honolulu and overcame a rocky final-round start to lock up the four-shot win. "The more often you do it, the better you deal with it". "But I kept plugging along, and I knew good things were going to happen. It's always a surprise when it disappears".

Kuchar was flawless on day three, posting four birdies without dropping a shot, to be the 54-hole leader at 18 under. "I have to stay aggressive".

That would be a good idea, except Hawaii doesn't have a lottery.

Cink made nine birdies in his round of 62. The 16-year-old American placed last after shooting rounds of 84 and 78.

Kuchar was sliding his way out of the top 50 toward the end of a year ago, when he failed to make a Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup team for the first time since 2009. He felt as though he was grinding too hard, and that's not a trait he wears well.

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