Matt Kuchar - Professional Career

Professional Career

Kuchar's first win on the PGA Tour came at the 2002 Honda Classic. A tough year in 2005 saw him win under $403,000 to finish 159th on the money list and lose his tour card. He failed to regain it at qualifying school and played on the Nationwide Tour in 2006. Kuchar won its Henrico County Open and finished tenth on the 2006 Nationwide money list and earned back his PGA Tour card for 2007. He retained his card for the next two seasons by finishing 115th on the money list in 2007 and 70th in 2008.

Seven years after his first PGA Tour win, Kuchar won for a second time during the 2009 Fall Series at the Turning Stone Resort Championship in a playoff over Vaughn Taylor that concluded on Monday because of the playoff being postponed due to darkness on the previous Sunday.

On August 15, 2010, Kuchar made the U.S. Ryder Cup team by earning enough points to take the 8th, and last position, awarded on points. At the time Kuchar led the PGA Tour in top-10 finishes for the year, but had not won a tournament in 2010. The winless streak ended at The Barclays on August 29, 2010, which was played at the Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, New Jersey; Kuchar defeated Martin Laird on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff.

Kuchar won the Vardon Trophy and Byron Nelson Award in 2010 for lowest scoring average and the PGA Tour's Arnold Palmer Award for leading the money list.

Kuchar started off 2011 well with three consecutive top-10 finishes in the first three weeks of the season. He finished T6 at the opening PGA Tour event, the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. The following week at the Sony Open in Hawaii, he played his way to a T5 finish and then at the Bob Hope Classic achieved a T7 finish.

In February 2011, Kuchar reached the semi-finals of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship where he suffered a 6&5 defeat by eventual champion Luke Donald. In the 3rd place playoff match Kuchar defeated fellow American Bubba Watson, 2&1. Previously during the week Kuchar had beaten Anders Hansen on the 22nd hole in round one, Bo Van Pelt in round two, Rickie Fowler in round three and Y. E. Yang at the quarter-final stage.

Kuchar finished tied for second at The Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village in June 2011 behind Steve Stricker. This was his eighth top-10 finish of the season and took him to his highest ranking to date of world number six. Kuchar finished second at The Barclays, two strokes behind the winner Dustin Johnson. The tournament was shortened to 54 holes due to Hurricane Irene. This finish moved him to second in the FedEx Cup standings. Kuchar and Gary Woodland combined to win the Omega Mission Hills World Cup in November.

Kuchar had his best performance in a major championship at the 2012 Masters when he finished in a tie for third. Kuchar was tied for the lead on the back nine on Sunday, but bogeyed the par three 16th and finished two strokes adrift of Bubba Watson and Louis Oosthuizen.

Kuchar won the biggest tournament of his career in May 2012 when he triumphed at The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. He shot a final round of 70, two under par, to win by two strokes from Rickie Fowler, Martin Laird, Ben Curtis, and Zach Johnson. He entered the final round in the last group, one stroke behind Kevin Na, and after bogeying the first hole, produced a near perfect round of golf, apart from a three putt bogey on the 17th to hold off the challengers. The win elevated Kuchar to a career high of number five in the world rankings.

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