Ailing Kuchar out front at Cog Hill

Matt Kuchar during Round 1 of the BMW Championship.

Matt Kuchar during Round 1 of the BMW Championship.

LEMONT, Ill. – Beware of the ailing golfer, latest in a countless series.

Beware of him especially when he’s hotter than Georgia asphalt, which Matt Kuchar has been lately, pardon the home-state reference.

Kuchar, PGA Tour leader in FedEx Cup points entering the penultimate playoff event, continued his fast pace in the opening round of the BMW Championship, despite a throat ailment that he thinks probably is laryngitis. He shot a 7-under 64 at Cog Hill, making an eagle at 15 and six birdies.

Kuchar said he started getting a scratchy throat Wednesday night. He appeared fatigued after his round and clearly wasn’t himself. He wasn’t smiling as much as he signed a few autographs.

Though he was the early leader, he didn’t come into the interview room for one very valid reason: He could barely talk. The interviewer who got a brief statement had a hard time hearing him.

“I was actually doing everything well,” Kuchar, winner two weeks ago at The Barclays, said of the 64. “It felt very good. Last week was a bit suspect, and this week I kind of figured some stuff out, hitting the ball solid and making some putts.”

It didn’t hurt that Kuchar won the 1997 U.S. Amateur here at Cog Hill.

“Yeah, I’ve got good memories of this place,” he said, “so it continued to go well for me today.”

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