It took a while for Matt Kuchar to figure out the brutal winds that generally accompany a British Open, but he may finally be getting there.
Kuchar missed his first five cuts at The Open and has missed six of eight overall, but his performance at Royal Lytham & St. Annes in 2012 showed he has the ability to do well at the event. He finished in ninth place, but he could have easily been higher than that. After finishing the first two rounds at four-under par, Kuchar shot back-to-back 72s to finish at even par for the tournament.
Kuchar’s previous best finish at the event was 27th in 2010. He missed the cut in in 2011, so consistency has been an issue for him.
One of Kuchar’s greatest strengths is his ability to judge speeds on longer putts, which should be his greatest asset at an event like the British Open. The large greens give players the ability to putt from long distances.
His greatest weakness, however, could hurt him. Kuchar’s one-plane swing takes a little more effort to get distance out of his drives and long irons and limits his ability to shape his shots. Kuchar’s game is all about keeping the ball straight and not worrying too much about drawing or fading his shots. He is one of very few players on tour to employ this type of swing, but he is able to get away with it because of his larger frame.
If he gets into a groove and figures out how the course is working early on, he could certainly make noise at The Open. Last year’s performance showed he’s beginning to figure out how the tournament works, and he could be a major player on the leaderboard come Sunday.