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Player Profile

Matt Kuchar: the season so far

by Matt Cooper
Updated On: April 19, 2020, 8:09 pm ET

Age: 41

 

World ranking (current/end of year)

Current: 17th
2019: 24th
2018: 34th
2017: 15th
2016: 20th

 

Current 2020 Stats

FedEx Cup Rank: 46th
Events: 8
Wins: 0
Top 10: 1
Top 25: 5
Made Cut: 6
Money: $1,190,106

 

Strokes Gained

Off-The-Tee: 157th (2019: 94th, 2018: 150th, 2017: 75th)
Approach: 79th (2019: 17th, 2018: 68th, 2017: 59th)
Around The Green: 58th (2019: 68th, 2018: 39th, 2017: 7th)
Putting: 14th (2019: 41st, 2018: 31st, 2017: 43rd)
Tee-To-Green: 92nd (2019: 30th, 2018: 88th, 2017: 28th)
Total: 29th (2019: 15th, 2018: 52nd, 2017: 14th)

 

Analysis

The veteran’s Strokes Gained stats are somewhat underwhelming. He’s never very good in the last few years Off the Tee and has been very poor this year, he’s sometimes good Tee to Green yet not this year, and has once been fine for Approach, but again not this term. Around the Green he was excellent four years ago, but he’s generally average, whilst his solid Putting ranking is currently on track for a recent best. His best PGA Tour effort this season was when he led the Genesis Invitational through 54 holes, before being pipped to the title. He also won the Asian Tour’s Singapore Open.

Grade so far: C

 

2020 quotes

Sony Open (on defending title): “It’s a hard thing to do. Certainly some extra pressure there, only one guy that's defending champion and it doesn't happen all that often that he defends. The guys that do get a chance to defend, their games probably fit well to the course, so they may have a reasonable chance. Hard to beat a hundred plus of the best players in the world. It's a hard thing to do.”

Sony Open (on links between Waialae and El Camaleon): “They share similarities as far as they are demanding driving courses. If you don't drive the ball well at either place you're going to struggle. This is a lot like Mayakoba. You can't hit driver, you can't hit 3-wood; you see guys hitting a lot of long irons off the tees, and it's fun to just try to position your ball to determine is it more about getting in the fairway or more about trying to attack the hole?”

Singapore Open (on winning despite a snowman in his final round): “Golf and life have a lot of similarities. When you face difficult times, it's how you persevere and overcome those things.”

 

THE MAJORS (most recent results on the left)

The Masters: 12-28-4-24-46-5-8-3-27-24-MC-50-21

He experienced early difficulties (the same could be said of his career), however in recent years he has thrived at Augusta National. In fact, nine of his last ten visits have reaped top 30s and five of them were T12 or better. In all, he has nine times in 13 starts been T16 or better with 18 holes to play. That’s remarkable consistency, but the eventual winner really needs to be top five at that stage and he’s achieved such a position just the twice.

PGA Championship: 8-MC-9-MC-7-22-MC-19-10-MC-MC

Pure boom or bust. 11 appearances: five missed cuts and six top 25s. In the last five years he’s even exaggerated that trend by lurching from top ten to spare weekend and back. Notably, the last thee times he’s teed it up on Sunday in the PGA Championship he carded a sub-70 score.

U.S. Open: 16-MC-16-46-12-12-28-27-14-6-MC-48-MC-MC-MC-MC-14

As with the PGA Championship, but in less clear-cut fashion, Kuchar drinks wine or water at his national championship. 17 appearances: six missed cuts, nine top 30s. And yet, although he owns seven top 20 finishes, he has only once made the top ten and never the top five. Even that one top ten is a little deceptive. It came at Pebble Beach in 2010, when a Sunday 68 jumped him from 13 shots back of the lead ahead of the round to four and T6.

Open Championship: 41-9-2-46-58-54-15-9-MC-27-MC-MC-MC-MC-MC

Kuchar’s linksland career has clearly unfolded in three stages. The first was something of a horror show, taking in six missed cuts in seven starts. T9 in 2012 followed and he would make the next four cuts, too, but never contend in that period. Whereupon he very nearly won at Royal Birkdale, thwarted only by an inspired Jordan Spieth, he was T9 at Carnoustie (when two shots back after 36 holes and four after 54) and T41 last year at Royal Portrush (when four strokes back at halfway).