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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 News

Tiger Woods fires second-round 76, will miss Genesis Open cut

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Tiger Woods’ trip to Los Angeles is over sooner than he’d hoped. Woods fired a 5-over 76 during the second round of the Genesis Open to miss the presumed cut at Riviera by four strokes (the second round won’t be completed until Saturday morning due to darkness).

Hopes were high Woods would continue to build on a T-23 finish at the Farmers Insurance Open. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case, as the driving woes that plagued him at Torrey Pines followed him to the Riv, despite changing shafts in his TaylorMade M3.

RELATED: Tiger Woods WITB

Wayward off the tee, Woods made eight bogeys Friday, unable to grind out a decent score as he did with his opening-round 1-over 72. He was unable to rely on his putter the way did in this first round, three-putting back-to-back holes (No. 11 and 12). A stretch of three straight bogeys sunk Woods’ hopes of hanging around for the weekend.

(c/o PGATour.com)

We won’t have to wait long to see the Big Cat back in action, however, as Woods committed to next week’s Honda Classic at PGA National in Florida. Woods most recently put a peg in the ground at the course in 2014, where he ultimately withdrew due to back spasms.

The 79-time PGA Tour winner hasn’t teed it in back-to-back weeks since 2015, so while fans may not be encouraged by his play, at least he continues to be free from any issues with his surgically repaired back.

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Tour News

Tiger Woods shoots an opening-round 72 (1-over) at the 2018 Genesis Open

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After hitting just 17 fairways all week at the 2018 Farmers Insurance Open, where he finished T23, Tiger Woods switched driver shafts and added 0.75 degrees of loft in his TaylorMade M3 driver ahead of the 2018 Genesis Open this week. He went from using a Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 70TX shaft, to a Matrix TP6HDe shaft — he used a TP7HDe shaft back in 2015.

So how did the switch work out for him at Riviera CC on Thursday?

Well, he hit driver 9 times during his round of 72 strokes; four went right — one of which got lost in a tree and he had to re-tee — one went left, and four found the fairway. He hit 8-of-14 fairways in total; no Fred Funk, but an improvement. Woods’ bigger issue on Thursday, actually, was that he hit only 7 greens in regulation, leaving himself a few tricky up-and-downs. Despite hitting only 38 percent of greens, Woods managed to make 5 birdies, and he continues displaying prowess on the greens (1.784 Strokes Gained Putting, and 82 feet worth of putts made).

He also showed some flashes of old Tiger with Arnie-esque follow through.

Of course, that means he missed the fairway way right, and he did go onto bogey the hole, but the shot made for some excitement on golf twitter, at least.

According to @RandallMellGC, Tiger described his round in a post-round interview: “I fought hard. I made a few simple, silly mistakes, bad shots here and there, missed on the wrong side, made a few birdies as well. 1-over’s not bad.”

Yea, that’s about right.

Tiger currently sits at T66, and six shots off the leader. Lots of golf to play, but he’ll likely be contending with the cutline come Friday afternoon. How do you think Tiger will finish this week at the 2018 Genesis Open?

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Custom Camerons, wedge stampings, a 6-hybrid, and Tiger wearing Tennis shoes?

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Yesterday, we brought you shots of Thomas Pieters’ iron stamping, Adam Scott’s new (shorter) wand, and more.

Today, we’ve got some more choice shots from the range at Riviera from Tuesday’s practice. Strap in for a sampling from a cornucopia of WITB shots and a helping of Tiger Woods (who we feature in two galleries). We also discussed his new driver shaft yesterday, so if you missed that piece, check it out.

On to the pictures.

First up, Wesley Bryan looks to be gaming an some Anthony Taranto artistry with his 54-degree Mack Daddy 4 wedge. Do work, indeed!

Ted Potter, Jr. won more than a million dollars at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am last week. But as the check hasn’t come yet, he hasn’t been able to buy Goo Gone to take the tape residue off the bottom of his putter.

A custom Cam for Rafa Cabrera Bello.

…and William McGirt.

#GrindGoals (Luke Donald’s 60-degree Mizuno T7)

Vijay Singh looks to have gotten his foot stuck in a bear trap, and yet he’s still practicing!

The most famous putter in golf, and Nike Vapor Advantage tennis shoes for Tiger?

Apparently, all the weight modification available on PXG 0311 irons was insufficient for Charl Schwartzel.

When your name scripting matches your sponsor’s script…

This is not the WITB of a 20-handicapper, rather Camilo Villegas may be the only Tour pro gaming a 6-hybrid.

So much is going on with Camilo Villegas’ irons…

You’ve seen custom stampings, but how about Bubba Watson’s custom shaft and custom shaft graphic?

When you’re the only PGA Tour professional to own a candy store, your wedge imagery reflects that fact.

The Big Cat browsing GolfWRX on mobile, no doubt…

If you’d like to dig deeper, we have two galleries of range photos from the Riv, plus 13 (!) WITB threads. Dig in!

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