Published: Mon, January 14, 2019
Sports | By Juana Wells

Leishman third as Kuchar wins Sony Open

Leishman third as Kuchar wins Sony Open

After back-to-back 63s, the American produced a flawless round on day three, firing four birdies to move to 18 under overall and top of the pack after 54 holes.

"I found some good stuff between seasons ... and then things really heated up in Mexico", he said.

It was a hard day for 11-time PGA Tour champion Spieth, who had four bogeys and just one birdie to be tied for 127th and 12 shots off the pace.

Andrew was tough there.

Matt Kuchar, in some of the best form of his career at age 40, vaulted to the lead after the second round at the Sony Open in Hawaii on Friday.

He led by two going into the final round, three bogeys in his first five holes saw the usually steady Kuchar, who had just one bogey in the first three rounds, surrender the lead to Putnam. "He was battling me, took the lead and it was nice to have that pressure and come through, make some birdies coming in". But he steadied the ship and appeared in total control with a bogey-free 30 on the back nine. It wasn't easy because it never is on the PGA Tour, but it was simple and as low-stress as wins get.

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. He holed out for eagle three times from the fairway - a sand wedge from 101 yards on No. 10 at the start of his round; a 9-iron from 149 yards on No. 16, and a gap wedge from 135 yards on No. 6.

Putnam, who won his first PGA Tour title last summer at the Barracuda Championship, didn't blink until that approach into the bunker that led to his lone bogey, and he couldn't make enough putts to stay close to Kuchar the rest of the way. He joins Xander Schauffle in the two-win club for this season and now has almost eight months to notch the first three-win season of his long, consistent and successful career.

He'll be very comfortable over the next few weeks, remaining in Hawaii with his family for a two-week vacation.

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

It was a further stroke back to Davis Love, who finished solo seventh with a 65 for 264. Kuchar denied the number after the third round and said the two had an agreement in place at the start of the week.

He at least made the cut, more than could be said for Jordan Spieth, who missed by a stroke despite a 66 for one-under.

Like this: