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June 12 2013

1:28 PM

Kuchar best without a major?

Kuchar has just one career top 10 in the U.S. Open. (Halleran/Getty Images)

By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM

ARDMORE, Pa. -- THE PLAYERS Championship, a World Golf Championship, a FedExCup Playoffs event and even a win at the house that Nicklaus built.

All that's missing for Matt Kuchar is a major championship.

"There's a lot of us in that boat," Kuchar said on the eve of the U.S. Open. "And the best player to not win, I don't know that I'm quite in that talk yet."

He might be one of the few who thinks so. Kuchar has done just about everything there is to do in golf.

The 34-year-old is a top-5 player in the Official World Golf Ranking, has finished atop the PGA TOUR's money list, nearly won the FedExCup, played in two Ryder Cups, was on a winning Presidents Cup team and in his last dozen majors has finished in the top 10 in five of them.

That included at the 2012 Masters, where he finished a career-best third and was in contention deep into Sunday until a bogey on the 16th hole. He finished two strokes out of a playoff.

It's taken longer than many expected for the 1997 U.S. Amateur champion to get to this point, but his rise has been steady the last few years.

Since the start of 2010, no one has more top 10s than Kuchar's 35. Among them are four victories, including at TPC Sawgrass last year and Muirfield Village just a couple of weeks ago.

The U.S. Open has been a different story, though.

Kuchar has just one top 10 in the event, which came in 2010 at Pebble Beach, where he tied for sixth. But even that was a bit of abberation -- Kuchar was never in contention, shot 68 on the last day and finished four shots back.

This year Kuchar has been on a roll, however.

He won the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championships and the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance, finished second at Colonial and has three other top 10s.

He's also in the top 15 in putting and fourth in scoring, which has helped him climb to second in the FedExCup standings and fourth in the world.

"I know that a lot of people have been yelling out that they have got me in their pools and they're picking me this week," Kuchar said. "But we hear a lot of that talk every week."

In Kuchar's case, it's well-deserved.

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