Matt Kuchar beat Hunter Mahan in the final of the Accenture Match Play to win his first World Golf Championship event. He was the only player in the 64 man field to remain unbeaten in demanding conditions in Arizona which saw snow on the first day and extreme cold and wind during the final. Jason Day beat Ian Poulter in the 3rd/4th place match.
Kuchar (pictured with Mahan) is now proven at the very highest level having won a WGC event and the 2012 Player’s Championship. That tournament is known as the fifth major due to the quality of the field. The Player’s generally attracts the top 50 players in the world rankings and most of those ranked inside the leading 100.
The TPC at Sawgrass which is the regular host of the most prestigious event outside the majors is a tough track that demands a good all-round game for decent scoring. The course was designed to provide a demanding test for the best players in the world.
Sawgrass has gained its reputation as a difficult course partly due to the famous island green 17th hole. However, the 18th is also a challenging test and any player who successfully negotiates those two holes to claim the title is a worthy winner.
Kuchar had shown great potential as a college player and amateur. In 1998 he was the country’s best college player and in the same year was the low amateur at both the US Masters and US Open. After graduating he became a professional in 2000.
Within two years Kuchar had won his first US PGA Tour event but it would be another seven years before he added to his tally. In fact he has only won five times on the US Tour but those titles include a FedEx Cup play-off event and the Player’s Championship, in addition to the Accenture Match Play.
The American player has been competing in major championships since his amateur days at the end of the 1990’s. He has competed in 35 major championships and has a relatively modest record in these events. He has missed the cut 15 times.
Kuchar has now recorded four top 10 finishes in the majors and all of those results have been achieved in the last three years. He is clearly an improving player who is now showing some consistency in the four biggest events of the year. That level of form has now seen him win two of the biggest events outside the majors.