Kooch Leads Putnam by 2 Shots at Waialae

Kooch Leads Putnam by 2 Shots at Waialae

US veteran Matt Kuchar shook off a slow start and pulled away for a four-shot victory over Andrew Putnam Sunday in the US PGA Tour Sony Open in Hawaii.

"Boy, to win two out of three events - it's insane to comprehend", said Kuchar, who missed the Tour Championship last year for the first time in eight years but has now taken his tally of US PGA Tour titles to nine.

Just like that, his lead was three shots, making for a pleasant walk up the par-5 18th.

He said getting an early win in the new season gives him added confidence.

"I loved the fight", Spieth said.

Matt Kuchar went more than four years without a victory before winning the Mayakoba Golf Classic in November and now he's looking for more.

Putnam, who played college golf at Pepperdine and claimed his first PGA Tour victory past year in the Barracuda Championship, capped his 67 with an eight-foot birdie putt on the last hole.

Kuchar then won once in 2014 - the RBC Heritage - but came up empty until last fall when he won the Mayakoba Golf Classic.

However, Putnam handed back the initiative with a scrappy dropped shot at 14, and Kuchar seized his chance to open up a commanding lead when he holed back-to-back birdie putts from 12 feet at 15 and 16.

Kuchar is 2-2 when he has the 54-hole lead going into the final round.

The easygoing vibe in Hawaii is a flawless fit for Matt Kuchar, who spends as much as a month at a time on the islands when his schedule allows.

He finished at 22-under 258, the third-lowest total in Waialae history behind the PGA Tour record of 253 by Justin Thomas in 2017 and Jimmy Walker's 72-hole score of 257 when he won in 2015. Putnam briefly held the lead in the final round and finished solo second at 18 under.

Not bad for a 40-year-old who ended last season failing to get to the Tour Championship for the first time since 2009, and ending his streak of playing on eight consecutive teams in the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup.

Australian Marc Leishman had six birdies in a six-under 64 to share third place on 17-under 263 with Canadian Corey Conners and Americans Hudson Swafford and Chez Reavie. It was nice to have that pressure and be able to come through and make some birdies coming. "I look forward to the rest of the year to try and continue to see how great this year can be".

"I missed couple putts early but I was awfully steady, played bogey-free".

Peter Jung, who qualified by winning an amateur tournament, played in his first PGA Tour event. He closed with a birdie Saturday to cut Kuchar's lead to just two.

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