My series breaking down the 2013 PGA Tour Player Of The Year candidates continues tonight with Matt Kuchar. It’s surprising to be saying this, but of the five elite players on this list, Kuchar is probably the longest shot to win the award.
At first glance, of course, Kuchar has all the qualities you look for in a potential Player Of The Year. He made all 23 cuts in 2013. Actually, he hasn’t missed a cut since the 2012 PGA Championship; his streak of 27 consecutive weekends is the best on Tour. Kuchar won two big events in the WGC Match Play and the Memorial, and finished third on the money list behind Tiger Woods and Henrik Stenson.
As I’ve said throughout the season, Kuchar’s best trait is his consistency. Week in and week out, you know you’re going to get solid performance out of him. Unfortunately, despite an overall great year in 2013, there’s one thing missing: a major championship.
Just ask Phil Mickelson what the title of “best player never to win a major” means. It’s the type of thing that can dog a player deep into his career, and I believe it’s the only thing that will keep Kuchar from the Player Of The Year title. It should mean something that Kuchar played more competitive golf than just about anybody on Tour this year, but when you stack it up against Mickelson’s Claret Jug, Adam Scott‘s green jacket, Stenson’s FedEx Cup and Woods’s five wins, it just doesn’t hold up as well.
Kuchar deserves a ton of respect for the way he handles his business on the course, but before long he’s going to need to finish the job at one of the majors to elevate his status to the true top of the game. This group of players has just achieved too much this season for Kuchar to come out on top.