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Kuchar holds off Mahan, wins first WGC

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Matt Kuchar defeated defending champion Hunter Mahan 2 and 1 in the Championship Match of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship at The Golf Club at Dove Mountain in Marana, Ariz., to win his first World Golf Championship event.

It was the first all-American final in five years at the event, and the matchup made it certain that for the eighth straight Tour event, an American would be hoisting the trophy.

Mahan was attempting to become the second player to ever win consecutive Match-Play Championships. Before Sunday’s match, Mahan had not trailed in the tournament for 169 holes in 11 different matches over the last two years.

Florida-native Matt Kuchar, who was wearing ski-gloves to keep his hands warm between shots, was red hot early in the match — he was four-up through the first eight holes. But Mahan began charging with wins on Nos. 10, 11 and 14 before Kuchar halted his momentum with a 12-foot birdie putt on the 306-yard par-4 No. 15.

Kuchar’s tee shot on the par-3 No. 16 left him behind the grandstands to the left of the green, handing the hole to Mahan a couple shots later. His lead was cut to one with two holes remaining.

Kuchar’s winning WITB Photos

 

Both players drove their balls into the fairway bunker on No. 17 just feet apart, but Mahan drew the worse of the two lies in the sand.

Mahan was unable to make clean contact from the lie, and his approach shot squirted short and right into a bush. Kuchar capitalized on his good lie, sticking his approach to 10 feet. The match was conceded when Mahan failed to hole his pitch shot after punching out of the bush.

The win was the fifth of Kuchar’s career, and his first since his breakthrough win at The Players Championship last May. With the victory, Kuchar took home $1.5 million 550 FedEx cup points (as opposed to the normal 500 points in regular Tour events).

Kuchar was a No. 6 seed from the Hogan Bracket and has now moved to No. 8 in the Official World Golf Rankings.

In the consolation, Jason Day bested match-play aficionado Ian Poulter 1 up to claim third place.

The Tour will move next week to Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., for the Honda Classic, where Rory McIlroy will defend his title.

Kuchar’s winning WITB Photos

 

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Andrew Tursky is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX. He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Troy Vayanos

    Feb 25, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Good effort by Matt Kuchar to claim the event. That’s two big titles in the last couples of years he’s captured.

    Is a major championship next for him?

    Once again match play delivered the upsets just like I thought. The same thing will happen next year again.

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Tour Photo Galleries

10 interesting photos from Tuesday at the Zurich Classic

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GolfWRX is live from the 2018 Zurich Classic at TPC Louisiana, where, among other things, a giant three-legged crocodile roams.

Now in it’s second year, the tournament’s unique two-man team format has attracted a wealth of top talent, including 10 of the top 14 golfers in the OWGR. We’re on the scene snapping bag pictures and have five galleries from TPC Louisiana’s range Tuesday. We also have a look inside Ryan Ruffels bag, a peek at Jimmy Walker’s putter, a look in Brooks Koepka’s bag, and more!

Let’s dig in.

Well, this certainly is interesting, Xinjun Zhang. Not sure about the context, but not something you traditionally see on a PGA Tour driving range…

Hard not to love Ryan Ruffels’ 009M

Look’s like Michael Greller is enjoying some well-earned relaxation

Ryan Palmer boldly going where few Tour pros dare to: serif font

Roman numeral loft stamping? Savage grind? We like your style, Bud Cauley

Is this a new Wilson Staff PMP wedge prototype or a one-off thing for Ricky Barnes?

Finally, Whitney comes to a wedge

Ham & egg!

Jimmy Walker’s silver Spider

Our Tour Photographer risking the wrath of Bubba (we assume he had permission)

 

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Detroit could be getting a PGA Tour event

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As a business based in the Detroit metro area, GolfWRX is happy to hear this: the Motor City could be getting a PGA Tour event.

With the PGA Tour’s 2019-2020 schedule expected in the weeks ahead, the Detroit News reports the Tour could announce (Detroit-based) Quicken Loans will sponsor an event at Detroit Golf Club. The company ceased sponsorship of the former Quicken Loans National in Washington, D.C. last year.

The Detroit News quotes a source with knowledge of the Tour’s scheduling discussions as saying an official announcement is near.

While the Tour, Quicken Loans, and Detroit Golf Club are mum on the matter, Quicken Loans’ statement to the paper last year made clear the company’s intention to bring a tournament to the city.

“As we look to the future, we remain interested in exploring ways to highlight the energy and revitalization taking place in Detroit…A prime golf event, featuring the world’s best players, is certainly something we would be interested in pursuing as a way to showcase our great American city.”

If the Detroit tournament takes the calendar spot of the The National, it would be contested in late June/early July. Additionally, with the PGA Championship’s move to may next year, there’s some speculation the Detroit event could be contested in August.

As mentioned, we know the PGA Championship is moving to May in 2019. Additionally, The Players will move to March, TPC Southwind will take over  WGC hosting duties from Firestone Country Club, and the FedEx Cup Playoffs will wrap before start of football season.

We’ll have to wait (eagerly) for official word on the Detroit event.

 

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Tuesday’s Photos from the 2018 Zurich Classic

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GolfWRX is live from the 2018 Zurich Classic at TPC Louisiana (par 72; 7,425 yards), designed by Pete Dye with consultants Steve Elkington and Kelly Gibson.

The Zurich Classic is a unique event on the PGA Tour because it’s not an individual stroke-play event. Instead, the format consists of two-man teams playing best-ball on Thursday and Saturday, and alternate-shot on Friday and Sunday.

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Last year, Cameron Smith and Jonas Blixt won the event after four playoff holes against Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown. The Smith/Blixt duo will be back to defend their title, and the Kisner/Brown pairing will be back avenging their loss.

Other notable pairings in the field include Daniel Berger/Gary Woodland, Wesley Bryan/Jon Rahm, Patrick Reed/Patrick Cantlay, John Daly/Rory Sabbatini, Jason Day/Ryan Ruffels, David Duval/Jim Furyk, Tony Finau/Daniel Summerhays, Sergio Garcia/Rafa Cabrera Bello, J.B. Holmes/Brand Snedeker, Matt Kuchar/Bubba Watson, Louis Oosthuizen/Charl Schwartzel, Sean O’Hair/Jimmy Walker, Pat Perez/Jason Dufner, Justin Rose/Henrik Stenson, Jordan Spieth/Ryan Palmer, Justin Thomas/Bud Cauley and more!

Check out our photos from the event below!

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