Kuchar Keeps Cool Under Pressure

Big putt on 16 leads to biggest career win

by Lance Hanlin - lhanlin@golfersguide.com

It’s not about hitting the longest drives or sinking the longest putts. For Matt Kuchar, golf is a game that is played in those six or so inches between the ears.

“I feel like my mental game is one of my stronger suits,” Kuchar said on Sunday. “I feel like not a whole lot gets under my skin. I’m good about letting things just roll off and not affect me.”

Kuchar’s caddie says the 33-year-old St. Simons Island (Ga.) resident has the perfect demeanor for golf. That demeanor was put to the test on Sunday in the final round of the Players Championship when a guy wearing all orange sank a 20-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole to shave Kuchar’s lead to two strokes.

It was Rickie Folwer, winner of last week’s Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow. Kuchar responded with an equally big 15-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole.

“I was pretty excited to stick it right back to Rickie,” Kuchar said. “That was pretty awesome.”

Kuchar closed with a 2-under 70 to win the Players Championship by two strokes over Fowler and Ben Curtis. After tapping in for par on the 18th green, he celebrated with his wife, two sons and gave a high-five to his mother on Mother’s Day.

It is Kuchar’s fourth PGA Tour victory and the biggest of his career, by far.

“For this tournament, you had the strongest field in the world,” Kuchar said. “To come out on top is just an amazing feeling.”

It was Kuchar’s first win since 2010. He pocketed the PGA Tour-best purse of $1.71 million, moved up to No. 5 in the world rankings and up to No. 3 in the Ryder Cup standings.


2012 PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS

Sunday; At TPC Sawgrass, Players Stadium Course; Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.; Purse: $9.5 million; Yardage: 7,215; Par 72

Final

Matt Kuchar (600), $1,710,00068-68-69-70—275
Ben Curtis (203), $627,00068-71-70-68—277
Rickie Fowler (203), $627,00072-69-66-70—277
Zach Johnson (203), $627,00070-66-73-68—277
Martin Laird (203), $627,00065-73-72-67—277
Luke Donald (110), $342,00072-69-72-66—279
Bo Van Pelt (94), $296,08371-70-70-69—280
Kevin Na (94), $296,08367-69-68-76—280
Jhonattan Vegas (94), $296,08368-74-68-70—280
Carl Pettersson (80), $247,00071-72-69-69—281
David Toms (80), $247,00069-74-73-65—281
Blake Adams (68), $199,50066-73-72-71—282
Jonathan Byrd (68), $199,50068-70-72-72—282
Geoff Ogilvy (68), $199,50070-73-70-69—282
Brendon de Jonge (54), $137,98869-71-72-71—283
Bob Estes (54), $137,98873-69-76-65—283
Peter Hanson, $137,98873-71-71-68—283
Martin Kaymer, $137,98873-69-70-71—283
Spencer Levin (54), $137,98874-68-72-69—283
David Mathis (54), $137,98872-71-69-71—283
Adam Scott (54), $137,98868-70-74-71—283
Henrik Stenson (54), $137,98871-71-71-70—283
Chris Couch (48), $95,00072-71-71-70—284
John Huh (48), $95,00075-66-72-71—284
Tim Clark (42), $66,54871-70-71-73—285
Brian Davis (42), $66,54868-70-72-75—285
Jim Furyk (42), $66,54872-70-72-71—285
Bill Haas (42), $66,54868-71-74-72—285
Phil Mickelson (42), $66,54871-71-70-73—285
Pat Perez (42), $66,54869-75-70-71—285
Ian Poulter (42), $66,54865-76-71-73—285
John Rollins (42), $66,54872-72-69-72—285
Kevin Stadler (42), $66,54868-71-73-73—285
Charlie Wi (42), $66,54871-67-73-74—285
Keegan Bradley (34), $46,83572-70-74-70—286
Tom Gillis (34), $46,83570-71-73-72—286
Jeff Maggert (34), $46,83570-71-71-74—286
Johnson Wagner (34), $46,83569-73-69-75—286
Jimmy Walker (34), $46,83571-70-71-74—286
Kris Blanks (29), $37,05069-74-72-72—287
J.J. Henry (29), $37,05071-73-74-69—287
Bryce Molder (29), $37,05072-72-70-73—287
Alvaro Quiros, $37,05072-72-72-71—287
Tiger Woods (29), $37,05074-68-72-73—287
Marc Leishman (26), $31,35073-70-73-72—288
Ricky Barnes (23), $26,33474-69-72-74—289
Harrison Frazar (23), $26,33468-76-69-76—289
Brian Gay (23), $26,33471-72-71-75—289
Ryan Moore (23), $26,33469-72-75-73—289
Josh Teater (23), $26,33471-71-76-71—289
Brian Harman (18), $22,49673-68-76-73—290
Chris Kirk (18), $22,49671-73-72-74—290
Justin Rose (18), $22,49676-68-75-71—290
Kevin Streelman (18), $22,49672-68-72-78—290
Michael Thompson (18), $22,49668-71-75-76—290
Sergio Garcia (13), $21,28073-71-68-79—291
Trevor Immelman (13), $21,28072-72-72-75—291
Robert Karlsson (13), $21,28070-74-76-71—291
Rod Pampling (13), $21,28071-72-78-70—291
Nick Watney (13), $21,28071-70-76-74—291
Robert Allenby (9), $20,52072-72-75-73—292
Sung Kang (9), $20,52075-68-72-77—292
Lee Westwood (9), $20,52071-70-74-77—292
Stewart Cink (6), $19,85571-72-78-72—293
Harris English (6), $19,85570-67-79-77—293
George McNeill (6), $19,85570-73-82-68—293
Heath Slocum (6), $19,85573-70-78-72—293
Jason Dufner (3), $19,28573-71-76-75—295
David Hearn (3), $19,28569-75-77-74—295
Graham DeLaet (1), $18,90571-73-76-76—296
Justin Leonard (1), $18,90575-68-74-79—296
Cameron Tringale (1), $18,62073-71-77-76—297

 

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