Kuchar secures 2-stroke Memorial victory|
Dublin, OH (Sports Network) - Matt Kuchar carded a 4-under 68 on Sunday and
rolled to a 2-stroke victory at the Memorial Tournament.
Ahead by two entering the final round at Muirfield Village Golf Club, Kuchar
never relented the advantage, pushing his lead to four shots on the back nine
before sinking a 21-foot birdie putt on the last to finish at 12-under-par
It is the sixth career PGA Tour win for Kuchar and his second of the season
after February's WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship triumph.
"This is such an amazing feeling. This never gets old," said Kuchar, who lost
the 54-hole lead at Colonial last week and finished runner-up to Boo Weekley.
"To have Jack Nicklaus congratulate me is a real treat. This is as special as
Kevin Chappell birdied four of his last six holes but couldn't overtake
Kuchar, instead grabbing solo second at 10-under after a final-round 68. Kyle
Stanley (71) placed third at 7-under, while Scott Stallings (67) and Bill Haas
(71) tied for fourth at minus-6.
Rookie Russell Henley (69) and Australian Matt Jones (72) ended knotted in
sixth at 5-under. First-round leader Charl Schwartzel (72) and Justin Rose
(73) shared eighth with three others at 4-under.
Tiger Woods entered this tournament with four wins in seven starts on the
season, but he never found his form at Muirfield Village. The defending
champion posted four rounds in the 70s, including Saturday's 79, which matched
his career-worst score in a non-major. He opened that round with an outward
44, the highest 9-hole score of his career, then shot even par on Sunday to
finish tied for 65th at 8-over 296.
"I had bad speed all week," said the world No. 1, who had 119 putts for the
week. "I thought the greens didn't look that fast, but they were putting fast.
I could never get the speed of them.
"It happens. It happens to us all."
Kuchar opened with a birdie and a pair of pars before stumbling to a bogey at
the fourth. He recovered with a birdie at No. 5 and added another at the
seventh, two-putting for the gain and a 3-stroke advantage.
But Stanley, playing alongside Kuchar and Chappell, hung close with
consecutive birdies from the fifth, then reduced the margin to a single stroke
with another back-to-back birdie run from the eighth.
A pivotal swing occurred at the 11th, where Kuchar re-established his 3-shot
lead with a 14-foot birdie make alongside Stanley's bogey. The latter failed
to threaten again, closing with six pars and a dropped shot at the 17th.
After failing to sink short birdie putts on Nos. 13 and 14, Kuchar landed his
second shot within 25 feet at the par-5 15th and got home in two for another
gain and a 4-stroke lead.
Kuchar dropped a shot at the par-3 16th, missing the green and sending his
chip 13 feet past the cup, and a hole later Chappell moved within two shots of
the top spot with a 19-foot birdie make.
It took a tricky, 6-foot par save at No. 17 for Kuchar to maintain that
advantage, and he carried the momentum onto the par-4 18th, where he found the
fairway off the tee, dropped his approach to 21 feet and rolled home the
slight bender for the victory.
"He's world class with that putter, and I figured it was over with," admitted
NOTES: Kuchar and Woods are the only players with multiple PGA Tour wins this
season ... Kuchar improved to 2-1 when owning the 54-hole lead ... He was a
runner-up at this tournament in 2011 ... World No. 2 Rory McIlroy tied for
57th at 6-over ... The start of the final round was pushed to 10:40 a.m.
(ET) as strong storms were in the forecast overnight.
06/02 20:36:19 ET