Here’s a recap of the final round of the Sony Open in Hawaii at Waialae Country Club.
WINNER: Winning can be so fickle on the PGA Tour. Matt Kuchar can certainly attest.
The 40-year-old used a stellar back-nine 5-under 30 on Sunday to fire a closing 4-under 66 and seal a four-shot victory at 22 under. The triumph is his ninth PGA Tour win and second in three months. Prior to this recent surge, though, Kuchar had a PGA Tour win drought of more than four-and-a-half years.
Hey, it’s a crazy game.
Kuchar led after the second and third rounds before closing out on Sunday, but this win absolutely did not come easy. Kuchar, who began the day with a two-shot lead, sandwiched a birdie at No. 3 with bogeys at Nos. 2, 4 and 5, and even a birdie at No. 9 wasn’t enough to keep him on top.
His opening-nine 1-over 36 relegated him to a one-shot deficit to Andrew Putnam, who made two birdies and no bogeys on the front. The final nine was a different story.
Kuchar birdied the par-4 10th to move to 18 under and tie the lead. Putnam kept up the fight, draining a 19-footer for par from off the green at the par-3 11th to remain a co-leader. Kuchar would birdie the par-4 12th to take back the solo lead at 19 under, but Putnam drained a 21-footer for birdie at the par-4 13th to move back into a share.
The separation would occur over the next few holes.
Putnam bogeyed the par-4 14th to give Kuchar back the solo lead. Kuchar then pounced on that opening, draining 13- and 11-foot putts for birdie at Nos. 15 and 16 to reach 21 under and open up a three-shot lead.
At that point, the tournament was in hand. He would close with a birdie at 18 for good measure.
This is Kuchar’s second win of the 2018-19 PGA Tour season, as he previously captured the Mayakoba Golf Classic in November. Good golf often comes in spells, but it doesn’t make those inevitable highs any less special.
Kuchar is certainly experiencing the rewards of that at the moment. We’ll see how far he can take it.
JUST MISSED: Putnam birdied three of his first 13 holes and was flawless on the day to that point. That allowed him to erase his two-shot overnight deficit. But a 1-over finish over his final five holes doomed his chances. He settled for solo second at 18 under after a 2-under 68. He was pretty much the sole challenger on the back nine.
SHOT OF THE DAY: It’s tough to top a pitch-in eagle to end your tournament, so we’re not going to try.
J.T. Poston with the shot…
SHORT SHOTS: Marc Leishman, Hudson Swafford and Corey Conners all close in 6-under 64 to finish T-3 at 17 under. Chez Reavie also places T-3. … Davis Love III, 54 years young, closes in 5-under 65 to place solo seventh at 16 under. Remarkable. … Bryson DeChambeau earns a T-10 at 14 under. … Patrick Reed finishes 13 under for T-13. … Justin Thomas posts T-16 at 12 under. … Poston used his walk-off hole-out to finish T-20 at 11 under.