February 22 2013
MARANA, Ariz. -- Kuchar never trailed in this tightly contested match. At the same time, he never led by more than one hole until he made a 30-inch birdie putt on the 17th hole for the win.
After the two parred their first five holes, Garcia finally flinched and bogeyed the par-3 sixth to give Kuchar the 1-up lead. The two halved the par-5 eighth with birdies but Kuchar bogeyed No. 9 and the match was square heading into the back nine.
Kuchar made a 7-foot birdie putt on the par-5 11th to get back to 1 up but Garcia squared the match with an 8-footer birdie at the 13th. Kuchar finished with three birdies in his last four holes, though, winning the 14th to go 1 up and halving No. 15 before ending the proceedings with the final one at the 17th.
"It was a good battle with Sergio," Kuchar said. "I felt like around this course, his power and driving ability was a big advantage, being able to take it over some of those cross bunkers. He's, I think, one of the best drivers in the game. It can make golf courses pretty easy driving it as well as he can.
"We had a good match that was kind of 1 up, 1 down, all the way through about hole 14. ... And then I had a great approach to two-and-a-half feet on 17 to be able to close the match out 2 and 1."
SCORECARD STATS: Kuchar made five birdies and one bogey. Garcia made three birdies and one bogey.
HOLES WON: Kuchar won four holes. Garcia won two holes.
NEXT OPPONENT: Nicolas Colsaerts, who beat Justin Rose 4 and 2.