Hard times help Kuchar savour winning

MARANA – A seven-year victory drought on the PGA Tour helped American Matt Kuchar appreciate the difficulty of winning, and made his triumph at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship on Sunday taste even sweeter.
Kuchar's last win was at the 2012 Players Championship. Net photo.
Kuchar's last win was at the 2012 Players Championship. Net photo.

MARANA – A seven-year victory drought on the PGA Tour helped American Matt Kuchar appreciate the difficulty of winning, and made his triumph at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship on Sunday taste even sweeter.

Kuchar was a gifted collegiate golfer who, as an amateur in 1998, tied for 21st at the Masters and 14th at the US Open but he learned the hard way how inaccessible the winner’s circle can be after turning professional in 2000.

“Winning on the PGA Tour is really difficult, you don’t win that often,” Kuchar told reporters after clinching his fifth title on the circuit with a 2&1 victory over fellow American Hunter Mahan in the Match Play Championship final.

“So to win at all is a real thrill. To have battled the battles, to have gone down to the Nationwide Tour makes you appreciate things all that much more.

“I went seven years between wins. I won in 2002 real early in my PGA Tour career, then went seven years before I won again in 2009.”

After landing his maiden title on the US circuit at the 2002 Honda Classic, Kuchar endured some tough times and, as his form deteriorated, he ended up having to return to the satellite Nationwide Tour for most of the 2006 season.

Career improvement

After returning to the PGA Tour, Kuchar recorded two top-10 finishes during the 2007 season, including a tie for third at the AT&T Classic, and he improved on that the following year with a further five top-10s and total earnings of $1 447 638.

In 2009, he clinched his second PGA Tour title in a playoff with Vaughn Taylor for the Turning Stone Resort Championship and he has not looked back since.

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