December 21 2013
With the PGA TOUR set to resume its 2013-14 season the first week of January, PGATOUR.COM is previewing the top 30 players to watch heading into the new year. We'll count down one a day in December until we unveil our No. 1 player to watch on Dec. 30, the Monday of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
Check out this preview of No. 10 Matt Kuchar and join the discussion below on how you think he'll perform in 2014. Click here for more on the top 30 players to watch in 2014.
NO. 10 PLAYER TO WATCH: MATT KUCHAR
2014 OUTLOOK: Matt Kuchar has long been a quality player, but his resume improved considerably last year with his first multiple-win season. He'll be looking to take the next step in 2014 and become the kind of force in the majors we've expected him to be since he tied for 21st at the Masters as an apple-cheeked 19-year-old amateur. There were a few bumps early in his career as Kuchar lost his card but the progression over the last five years has been steady. Kuchar built on 2012's PLAYERS win with his first World Golf Championships title at the Accenture Match Play Championship last year while also winning at the Memorial Tournament. Oddly, though, for such a steady performer, only five of his 27 top-10s over the last four years have come at the majors, most recently last year's tie for eighth at Augusta National. Finding a way to peak at the right time will be key. -- Helen Ross
THUS FAR THIS SEASON: Kuchar has played twice this year -- once in a PGA TOUR event and once at the ISPS Handa World Cup. He tied for seventh at The McGladrey Classic and finished fourth individually at Royal Melbourne, partnering with Kevin Streelman for a second-place finish in the team event.
Fantasy stud and a road warrior as compared to his ilk. In his last four seasons, he has 37 top-10s and another 30 top-25s. Plays just about everywhere and has overcome a statistical argument that suggests that he's suited only for shorter, tighter tracks. -- Rob Bolton
|ON THE MARK
Matt, a.k.a. Mr. Consistency, is a tremendous player who is able to play well on any course under any conditions -- and that in my opinion is his greatest attribute. Matt has made refinements to his swing and has leveled off his body action which has brought added control. He typically does not, however, dominate in any statistical category but he dominates in the one that counts -- the score. Thanks to some superb eye-hand coordination he has no real weakness and just plots his way patiently through each tournament eventually making his way to the upper reaches of the leaderboard. -- Mark Immelman
Matt is not blessed with great length off the tee but has every other tool needed. His short game ability and course management is wonderful. He is comfortable playing in high winds and hitting small targets. Sign me up for liking Kuchar’s chances in the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links. -- Fred Albers
|INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Another solid season for Kuchar didn’t go without its bumps off the tee. Kuchar hit just 58.93 percent of his fairways (124th on TOUR), dropping from 65.06 percent (42nd) in 2012, 64.75 percent (52nd) in 2011 and 67.89 percent (39th) in 2010. -- Bill Cooney