Honolulu – The final round of the Sony Open didn’t quite start out the way 54 hole leader Matt Kuchar had hoped. Frustrated after making 3 bogeys in his first five holes, Kuchar found himself one down at the turn. But a back nine 30 (5 under par) was the type of rally he needed to right the ship and win pulling away. After a sloppy front side, Kuchar was mistake free the rest of the way. In fact, the 40 year-old former Georgia Tech standout gave himself looks at birdie on the remaining 13 holes, closing with a final round 66 to finish at 22 under par (four shots clear of runner up Andrew Putnam). The win was Kuchar’s ninth career title on the PGA Tour.
With the victory, Kuchar became the first multiple winner on tour this season. He won earlier in the fall at the Mayacoba Golf Classic in Mexico back in November. (After Saturday’s third round, a story began to emerge regarding Kuchar’s alleged paltry payout to a local caddie after the victory in Mexico. Tour player Tom Gillis accused Kuchar of paying the caddie known as “El Tucan” the sum of $3,000 after winning $1.296 million. Kuchar denied the allegation saying, “It wasn’t 10 percent, but it wasn’t $3,000 either. It’s a not a story.”)
Andrew Putnam, who briefly took the lead when Kuchar faltered on the front nine couldn’t help but feel like an opportunity slipped by after finishing with a final round 2 under par 68. “I’m feeling a little let down right now,” Putnam said. “I’m sure when I think about it, a lot of good things happened. Just needed to make some better swings. Kuch was making birdies and played great coming down the stretch. I just couldn’t keep up with him.”
Marc Leishman, Hudson Swafford, Chez Reavie and Corey Conners all finished tied for third at 17 under par. 54 year old Davis Love lll fired a final round 65 to finish solo seventh at -16.