HONOLULU (Swing Update) – Matt Kuchar has never had such a long season end for the PGA Tour.
He scored 74 goals on Labor Day and failed to qualify for the first round of the FedEx Cup playoffs for the first time in 10 years. It has never been in a serious fight all year long. The captain's choice for the Ryder Cup was announced the next day. Kuchar was not even considered and left an American team for the first time since 2009.
Four months later, the view is so different.
The rainbow that stretched out over Oahu's sky on Sunday seemed magical when Kuchar got up to lift his arms after a last birdie for a game under 66, giving him a four-game win. shots at the Sony Open.
Kuchar had gone on tour 115 times without winning. Now he has won two of his last three.
"Insane to understand," he said.
It was much more difficult than reading the fine print that he earned four shots on Andrew Putnam with the third lowest score in the history of Sony Open.
Kuchar had more than four assists in mind during the finals and when he missed the number 5 green with a hold, he was trailing for the first time on the weekend. On the ninth of normal 5, Kuchar and Putnam were in the same bunker before the green. Putnam went first and exploded a few inches. Kuchar left 10 feet below the hole and was in danger of falling two behind.
He made the putt, one of the key moments of the rest of the course. And just after Putnam's only mistake, an iron 9 in a deep bunker to the left of the 14th green that led to his only boguey in the 68th, Kuchar responded with birdies back to back and was directed to another win.
"Delighted to have won two competitions early in the year," said Kuchar, the first multiple winner of the PGA Tour this season. "It is absolutely gearing up for the year to be well placed for the FedEx Cup, there are still many years and a lot of great things to do.
It's only the second time in his career that he has won multiple victories. The other took place in 2013, when he won the match-by-match championship in February and the memorial at the beginning of June, when three major tournaments were still to be played.
Extra special in Kuchar was riding the 18th fairway with a comfortable margin. Winning has never been easier in his previous eight wins.
That said, a part of him likes him so much, that he tries to recover from a bad start Sunday or even a bad year.
"I like to play golf, I love how difficult it is," he said. "Golf is addictive, so if you do not play well, you can not wait to understand it and improve it, if you play well, shoot, it's great." You want this to never happen It's a cycle of knowing how good or bad it is to continue this quest to keep playing, improving, repairing no matter what. is. "
He ranks # 22 in the world rankings and # 2 in the FedEx Cup. He has already earned more than $ 2.5 million in January, $ 800,000 more than all of last season.
Kuchar was 40 years old last summer, which could have contributed to the worry of not winning so long.
He has never seen it that way. This race began with a visit from his swing coach, Chris O'Connell, just before the start of the season. He did not get good results in Las Vegas and stayed the course. He won in Mexico at the Mayakoba Classic the following week, then again.
"I'm not sure I want to make a statement, but it's interesting to see how far the tour has gone," he said. "But fortunately, golf requires so many different things.It's not just a power play, a putting game.The game has so many facets that it allows people to play long, to play competitively and play a long time. "
Putnam's consolation was in the top 50 worldwide for the first time in 45th place. He had won the Barracuda Championship last summer, a month after playing better than anyone, with the exception of Dustin Johnson at the FedEx St. Jude Classic.
"I feel a little disappointed right now," said Putnam after closing with a 68. "I'm sure when I think about it … it's gone a lot of good things." Kuch was playing birdies and playing well on the way down, I just could not follow him. "
Kuchar had the gold trophy, the winner's lei around his neck. He was in no hurry to leave and plans to stay in Hawaii two more weeks with his wife and two sons. Even better? He has already won a place in Kapalua next year, the tournament being reserved for the winners.
"Believe me, entering the field in Kapalua is a real treat," said Kuchar.