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May 7 2013

6:37 PM

Kuchar hopes to break PLAYERS 'curse'

By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- It's a great thing to win THE PLAYERS Championship. It's a frustrating thing to defend the title.

This week marks the 40th playing of THE PLAYERS, and no defending champ has ever won. Matt Kuchar, the 2012 champion, gets his chance this week to make history at TPC Sawgrass.

"I don't think that this is necessarily a curse that nobody's defended the title here," Kuchar said Tuesday. "It's just kind of one of those stats you pull out, and I'd like to be the first guy that is able to repeat."

Kuchar noted the Masters has a similar curse with its Par 3 Contest. No winner of the Wednesday's Par 3 Contest at Augusta National has gone on to win the Masters that week.

While many golfers would rather not tempt fate by winning the Par 3 Contest, Kuchar decided to go hard after the Par 3 win last month in hopes of setting himself up to break the curse.

In fact, his playing partner Steve Stricker offered encouragment that Wednesday.

"He knew that I wanted to win, and he wanted to see somebody win and have a chance to break that curse," Kuchar said.

Kuchar didn't win the Par 3 Contest (tied for second) or the Green Jacket (tied for eighth) last month. Now he's got another shot at a curse this week.

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