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April 20 2011

7:55 PM

Last frontier for Kuchar? Short game

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In four short years, Matt Kuchar has risen from 202 to 10th in the Official World Golf Ranking.

By Stan Awtrey, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent

HILTON HEAD, S.C. -- Matt Kuchar doesn’t finish in the top 10 every week. It just seems that way. So it was news when the Georgia Tech graduate tied for 27th at the Masters, only the second time in nine events this season that he’s been outside the top 20 and only the third time he’s been outside the top 10.

"I just need to get a little sharper," said Kuchar, who is back in the field at The Heritage after taking last week off. "It’s one of the fun things of the game of golf is there’s no limit to how good you can get."

So Kuchar is working on his short game, in particular, his wedges. He said that aspect hasn’t been as sharp as in previous years. He pointed to the short game of Ryder Cup colleague Steve Stricker and his ability around the greens that he’d like to emulate.

"And there are areas like inside 120 yards, and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t all be great," he said. "Always like to be better."

Kuchar added an extra degree of loft on his putter, but didn’t alter the length. He said he will continue to make some changes, "May even fiddle with a couple of different putter heads" to make sure the club is right for him.

Kuchar continues to give a lot of credit to coach Chris O’Connell. "He’s making me have a better swing," Kuchar said. "His goal is to take out as much timing as possible from my golf swing. And we’re on the right track."

This is the eighth trip to Harbour Town for Kuchar, whose best finish was a tie for seventh in 2008. He tied for 14th a year ago with a closing round 68.

"I’d like to just keep playing really well," Kuchar said. "Golf is such a funny game. I think all of us know, from the very best professionals to the weekend warriors, that you never know what you’re going to have that next day. I’ve been fortunate to keep some good golf going for a decent stretch now and I’d like to continue it."

POWER RANKINGS: Kuchar in at fourth | EXPERT PICKS: Where did Kuchar land?
THE HERITAGE: Round 1 Tee Times | Featured Group | New Breed vs. Establishment

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