Matt Kuchar birdied the 18th to finish one shot behind Boo Weekley.
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Matt Kuchar's wedges let him down Sunday. That cost him a chance to put his name on Colonial's Wall of Champions.
Kuchar entered the final round of the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial with a one-shot lead but couldn't hold out, as he finished one shot behind winner Boo Weekley.
Kuchar shot a final-round 2-under 68 to Weekley's 66 and walked off the 18th green wondering what happened to his wedge play.
"The biggest letdown for me was my wedge game," Kuchar said. "I had scoring clubs in my hand that I really count on a lot. I had a really good opportunity and just hit ordinary wedge shots and just wasn't able to take advantage of them."
Specifically, Kuchar cited the opening hole, a par-5, when his third shot from 74 yards failed to finish inside 15 feet; his approach from 91 yards at the 11th that finished 16 feet; and his approach from 128 yards at the 15th that landed 64 feet.
He also had an approach from 92 yards at the sixth that landed 21 feet from the pin.
"I feel like those are clubs that I can't wait to get in my hands," Kuchar said, "and today I just wasn't tight enough with the wedges."
Kuchar was seeking his sixth PGA TOUR win on a course that he loves, and for three rounds, he was on track. The second-place finish is his best in seven starts at Colonial.
"It's a tough pill to swallow when you wind up one shot short of a victory here on a course that I really, really want to put my name up on that Wall of Champions," Kuchar said. "... It's difficult at the moment coming just one shot short, but you can't control what other guys do."
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Matt Kuchar has suffered just one bogey through his first 36 holes, one of the big reasons he finds himself leading the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial at the halfway point.
He'd like nothing more than to continue staying out of trouble this weekend. Kuchar, at 10 under, tees off in Saturday's third round at 1:30 p.m. ET with a one-shot lead over playing partner Graham DeLaet.
"It's just steady golf," Kuichar said about the key to his success in his first two rounds. "Nothing special. Driving it well, putting it well, approaches are good. It's just been steady golf and I kepty myself out of trouble."
This is the sixth time in Kuchar's career that he has held or shared the 36-hole lead. The last time he did it was the THE PLAYERS Championship in 2012. He ended up winning the tournament, the biggest of the five wins in his PGA TOUR career.
"It's the best place to be, all right," Kuchar said about his position after completing his second round Saturday morning. "I think you always want to be in the lead with as big a lead as you can get.
"So the plan for the next 36 holes is to try to keep it going, try to make birdies."
If he goes on to victory, Kuchar will end a streak of 10 consecutive TOUR events in which the 36-hole leader/co-leader has failed to win. The last player to do so was Tiger Woods at the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship.
Matt Kuchar would move to second in the FedExCup standings with a win this week. (Halleran/Getty Images)
Matt Kuchar will carry the 36-hole lead after finishing his second round with a couple of pars on Saturday at Colonial.
Kuchar was among those who had to return to Colonial to finish the second round after thunderstorms stopped play Friday afternoon at the Crowne Plaza Invitational. Kuchar opened with rounds of 65-65 at Colonial, with only a bogey on the difficult par-3 fourth in the opening round.
Surprisingly, Kuchar has never finished better than ninth at Colonial (2008) even though the veteran pencils in this stop on his schedule every year.
Canadian Graham DeLaet is only a shot back and will likely play with Kuchar when tee times are announced later Saturday. On Friday, DeLaet had the distinction of playing the Horrible Horseshoe (holes Nos. 3, 4, 5 at Colonial) in 2 over.
Metroplex native and resident Jordan Spieth is only two back despite a strange penalty on Friday, and 2004 Colonial winner Steve Flesch was also just two back. It was Flesch's first made cut since the 2011 season. The 46-year-old lefthander has moonlighted this year as an analyst on the Golf Channel.
Matt Kuchar reflects on his first round with Bill Rosinski from SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio.
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
FORT WORTH, Texas -- As much as Matt Kuchar loves Colonial -- "One of my favorite courses on the PGA TOUR," he says -- his results haven't been particularly impressive.
Although Kuchar has made every cut in six previous starts at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, his only top-10 finish was a ninth in 2008. Consider this: Between 2010-12, Kuchar posted top-10 finishes in 40 percent of his starts, but he's 0-for-3 at this tournament.
"I probably haven't been quite as sharp as I would like to be around this time," Kuchar explained. "I'd say this year I feel a lot sharper."
He certainly looked a lot sharper in Thursday's first round, shooting a 5-under 65 -- his lowest opening round at Colonial by three strokes.
Starting his round off the 10th tee, Kuchar credited his opening tee shot to setting the tone. Instead of pulling a hybrid as he normally does on the hole, he opted for a 3-wood, an aggressive play that paid off when he found the fairway and needed only a pitching wedge from 127 yards.
His approach landed inside 7 feet, and he drained the birdie for a quick start.
"There was some good momentum going after hitting a couple of good shots and getting off to a birdie on my first hole," Kuchar said.
IRVING, Texas -- Matt Kuchar sank a 17-foot eagle putt on the par-5 7th hole during Friday's second round of the HP Byron Nelson Championship. Kuchar made the turn on Friday 1 under on his round and 2 under for the tournament.
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- The jinx continues. No PLAYERS champion has successfully defended his title.
Matt Kuchar had the most recent opportunity but he closed with a 76 that included a 41 on the back nine and left him at even par for the tournament. He gave five strokes back on the final two holes -- hitting his tee shots at the 17th and 18th into the water on the way to a double bogey-triple bogey finish.
Kuchar was challenging at the midway point of his title defense, using a 66 to move to 7 under and just four shots off the lead. But rounds of 75-76 on the weekend sent him tumbling down the leaderboard.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- The final pairing of Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia tees off at 2:40 p.m. on Saturday. Here's a closer look at each of them, plus who and what else to watch for this afternoon at TPC Sawgrass.
Webb Simpson (1:30 p.m. ET): The reigning U.S. Open champion seemed to turn the corner at Hilton Head, where he finished second after losing in a playoff. This week, he's third in fairways hit and enters Saturday five back.
Jason Dufner (1:30 p..m ET): He had six birdies and just one bogey in the second round and is one of the best ball-strikers in the game. He also finished sixth here two years ago.
Zach Johnson (1:50 p.m. ET): The last four finishes for Johnson here: T32, T22, T12, T2. See the trend? A couple late bogeys on Friday hurt, but Johnson is still in the mix four back.
Adam Scott (1:50 p.m. ET): Playing for the first time since his Masters victory, Scott is in position to go after his second PLAYERS title (he won here in 2004). He's just four shots back.
Hunter Mahan (2 p.m. ET): After struggling in his last few starts, Mahan has turned it around here, hitting 75 percent of his greens in regulation.
Matt Kuchar (2 p.m. ET): No player has ever won this tournament two years in a row. After a 66 Friday, Kuchar has a chance and enters the third round just four shots back.
Ryan Palmer (2:20 p.m. ET): The Texan is playing with a heavy heart after a longtime friend was killed in a car accident Thursday night. He's wearing the initials "CA" on his hat in honor of him.
Henrik Stenson (2:20 p.m. ET): The 2009 champion is in contention again after making two eagles in the second round (on the par-5 second and ninth holes). When he won here four years ago, he shot a final-round 66.
Lee Westwood (2:30 p.m. ET): The Englishman has finished fourth, fifth and sixth here. All that's missing is a win. He's the only player without a bogey through the first two rounds.
Tiger Woods (2:40 p.m. ET): It's been a dozen years since Woods has won here, but he said all facets of his game are clicking right now and it's showed so far with his best 36-hole start in his history here.
Sergio Garcia (2:40 p.m. ET): Like Woods, Garcia has won here before (in 2008), but he's struggled at times playing alongside the world No. 1 with five his last six rounds in the 70s when the two have been paired.
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- No defending champion has ever successfully defended at THE PLAYERS Championship.
Matt Kuchar will have a chance to change that this weekend. He shot 66 Friday to get to 7 under at TPC Sawgrass, where he's four strokes off the lead.
"You've just got to be playing good golf, whether it's past champions or not," Kuchar said. "Course knowledge only helps when you're playing good golf."
Kuchar did that Friday, making seven birdies and just one bogey while taking just 25 putts.
Added Kuchar: "I think past champions always have a good feeling around a course they've won on, and that certainly helps out."
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- No one has ever successfully defended at THE PLAYERS Championship, where Matt Kuchar will begin his quest to become the first to do so this afternoon.
With pristine conditions -- sunny skies, hardly a breath of wind -- scoring has been good so far in the opening round at TPC Sawgrass. Will it continue? Here is a look at who and what to watch for this afternoon.
Lee Westwood (1:18 p.m. ET): The Englishman has knocked on the door a few times here -- most recently in 2010 when he was in contention going into Sunday before shooting 74 to finish fourth. He also finished fifth and sixth in 1998 and 1999 and given his ball-striking abilities should be a factor again.
Phil Mickelson (1:28 p.m. ET): As difficult as this tournament -- or Mickelson -- is to predict, Lefty has been largely consistent if nothing else since his win here in 2007. He's finished in the top 25 every other year the last five and for his career has eight top 25s in the event.
Webb Simpson (1:28 p.m. ET): The reigning U.S. Open champion admitted to a lack of confidence earlier this season. Then he finished second at Hilton Head, where he lost in a playoff. He's missed three of four cuts here, however.
Sergio Garcia (1:39 p.m. ET): The 2008 champion (he also finished second the year before) has just one finish in the top 20 since, but he has played well this year with three top 10s. His ball-striking should work well here, but with Garcia it all comes down to how well he putts.
Luke Donald (1:39 p.m. ET): The former world No. 1 finished sixth last year and tied for fourth the year before with all of last last eight rounds and 11 of his last 12 on the Stadium Course at par or better.
Tiger Woods (1:49 p.m. ET): For all his accomplishments, Woods has won THE PLAYERS just once, in 2001. Though he has three wins this season, he has just one top 10 here since that lone victory a dozen years ago.
Matt Kuchar (1:49 p.m. ET):The defending champion has finished in the top 15 in three of the last four years and in 2004 he tied for 16th. This season, Kuchar has four top 10s, including a win.
Brandt Snedeker (1:49 p.m. ET): He was admittedly exhausted after being in contention at the Masters and subsequently missed the cut in Hilton Head. He was also one of the hottest players in the game before getting injured in February. Snedeker has struggled here, missing the cut each of the last four years.