Open main menu

Matthew Gregory Kuchar (born June 21, 1978) is an American professional golfer who plays on the PGA Tour and formerly the Nationwide Tour. He has won nine times on the PGA Tour.

Matt Kuchar
Matt Kuchar cropped.jpg
Kuchar in July 2008
Personal information
Full nameMatthew Gregory Kuchar
NicknameKuch
Born (1978-06-21) June 21, 1978 (age 41)
Winter Park, Florida
Height6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight195 lb (88 kg; 13.9 st)
Nationality United States
ResidenceSt. Simons Island, Georgia
SpouseSybi (née Parker) (m. 2003)
ChildrenCameron, Carson
Career
CollegeGeorgia Tech
Turned professional2000
Current tour(s)PGA Tour
Professional wins15
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour9
PGA Tour of Australasia1
Korn Ferry Tour1
Other4
Best results in major championships
Masters TournamentT3: 2012
PGA ChampionshipT7: 2015
U.S. OpenT6: 2010
The Open Championship2nd: 2017
Achievements and awards
PGA Tour
leading money winner
2010
Vardon Trophy2010
Byron Nelson Award2010
Medal record
Representing  United States
Olympic Games
Bronze medal – third place 2016 Rio de Janeiro Golf

Kuchar briefly enjoyed success in the early 2000s before suffering a slump where he struggled to maintain his playing status on the PGA Tour. He rejuvenated himself and built a new, one-plane swing from 2008 onward leading to improved results. Kuchar was the PGA Tour's leading money winner in 2010.

Kuchar won The Players Championship in 2012, the flagship event of the PGA Tour, his biggest tournament victory to date.[1] As a result, he moved to a career high number five in the world rankings and has spent over 40 weeks ranked inside its top-10. In February 2013, Kuchar won his first World Golf Championship event, defeating Hunter Mahan in the final of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.[2]

At the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Kuchar won the first Olympic bronze medal awarded for golf since the 1904 Summer Olympics.

With Steve Stricker playing part-time on the PGA Tour Champions, Kuchar ended the 2017–18 season as the highest-earning active full-time PGA Tour player without a major championship win, with career earnings of over $43.7 million. The closest he has come was his second place finish in the 2017 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale Golf Club.[3]

Contents

Early yearsEdit

Kuchar was born in Winter Park, Florida, to Peter, a life insurance salesman and college tennis pro, and Meg Kuchar, with one sibling, Rebecca.[4][5][6]. He went on to graduate from Seminole High School in Sanford in 1996. Later he attended Georgia Tech in Atlanta, where he was a two-time first-team All-American on the Yellow Jackets' golf team. After narrowly losing in the semi-finals of the 1996 U.S. Amateur championship to Tiger Woods, Kuchar won the title in 1997. He received the Haskins Award in 1998 as the nation's top collegiate golfer, and was the low amateur at both The Masters and U.S. Open. He turned pro in 2000 after earning his bachelor's degree in management. One of Kuchar's teammates at Georgia Tech was future PGA Tour professional Bryce Molder.[7]

Professional careerEdit

Early careerEdit

Kuchar turned professional in November 2000, after working briefly for a financial services firm.[8] He missed the sign-up deadline for the 2000 qualifying school. In 2001 he was given sponsors' exemptions to some PGA Tour tournaments, and earned enough money to be fully exempt for the 2002 season.

Kuchar's first win on the PGA Tour came at the Honda Classic in 2002. A tough year in 2005 saw him win under $403,000, 159th on the money list, which caused a loss of his tour card. He failed to regain it at qualifying school and played on the Nationwide Tour in 2006. Kuchar won its Henrico County Open and finished tenth on the Nationwide Tour money list to earn back his PGA Tour card for 2007. He retained his card for the next two seasons by finishing 115th on the money list in 2007 and 70th in 2008.

2009Edit

Seven years after his first PGA Tour win, Kuchar won for a second time during the Fall Series in 2009 at the Turning Stone Resort Championship. He prevailed in a playoff over Vaughn Taylor that concluded on Monday due to darkness on Sunday evening.[9]

2010Edit

Kuchar made the Ryder Cup team in 2010, taking the eighth and last merit position on the 12-man U.S. squad on August 15. At the time, Kuchar led the PGA Tour in top-10 finishes for the year, but had not won a tournament in 2010. The winless streak ended two weeks later at The Barclays on August 29, which was played at the Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, New Jersey; Kuchar defeated Martin Laird on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff.[10]

Kuchar won the Vardon Trophy[11] and Byron Nelson Award in 2010 for lowest scoring average and the PGA Tour's Arnold Palmer Award for leading the money list.[12]

2011Edit

Kuchar started off 2011 well with three consecutive top-10 finishes in the first three weeks of the season. He finished T6 at the opening PGA Tour event, the Hyundai Tournament of Champions on Maui. The following week at the Sony Open in Hawaii, he played his way to a T5 finish and then at the Bob Hope Classic achieved a T7 finish.

In February, Kuchar reached the semi-finals of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, where he suffered a 6&5 defeat by eventual champion Luke Donald. In the 3rd place playoff match, he defeated fellow American Bubba Watson, 2&1. Previously during the week Kuchar had beaten Anders Hansen on the 22nd hole in round one, Bo Van Pelt in round two, Rickie Fowler in round three and Y.E. Yang at the quarter-final stage.

Kuchar finished tied for second at the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village in June 2011 behind Steve Stricker.[13] This was his eighth top-10 finish of the season and took him to his highest ranking to date of world number six. Kuchar finished second at The Barclays, two strokes behind the winner, Dustin Johnson. The tournament was shortened to 54 holes due to Hurricane Irene. This finish moved him to second in the FedEx Cup standings. Kuchar and Gary Woodland combined to win the Omega Mission Hills World Cup in November.[14]

2012Edit

Kuchar had his best performance in a major championship at The Masters when he finished in a tie for third. Kuchar was tied for the lead on the back nine on Sunday, but bogeyed the par three 16th and finished two strokes out of the playoff between Bubba Watson and Louis Oosthuizen.

Kuchar won the biggest tournament of his career in May when he won The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. He shot a final round of 70 (−2) to win by two strokes over runners-up Rickie Fowler, Martin Laird, Ben Curtis, and Zach Johnson. He entered the final round in the last group, one stroke behind Kevin Na. After bogeying the first hole, he played a near-perfect round, except for a three-putt bogey on the 17th, to hold off the challengers. The win elevated Kuchar to a career high of number five in the world rankings.

2013Edit

He won the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in February, defeating Hunter Mahan 2&1 in the final. During the final, Kuchar built up an early lead and was 4 up at the turn. Mahan mounted a comeback on the back nine, winning four of the next seven holes to trail by just one with two to play. Mahan's wild drive on the par-4 17th put him in trouble, and after Kuchar knocked his approach close, Mahan failed to chip in for par and conceded the hole, which ended the match and gave Kuchar his first World Golf Championship title.[15] Throughout the week, Kuchar was never more than one down in any of his matches and only trailed three times on his way to the win. He defeated Hiroyuki Fujita, Sergio García, Nicolas Colsaerts, Robert Garrigus and Jason Day en route to the final. Kuchar moved back into the world's top 10 after this victory. His second win in 2013 came at the Memorial Tournament in early June.

Late in the year Kuchar played in two events in Australia. He finished runner-up to Adam Scott at the Australian Masters and finished fourth in the 2013 World Cup of Golf.

2014Edit

In the final round of the Valero Texas Open in March, Kuchar held a share of the lead with nine holes to play but bogeyed the 10th and 11th holes and finished T-4.[16] The next week, he had a four-stroke lead going into the final round at the Shell Houston Open but lost a playoff to Matt Jones' 42-yard chip-in on the first extra hole.[17] Kuchar was again in contention the following week at the Masters Tournament, where he was tied for the lead on Sunday before four-putting the fourth hole and finishing T-5.

A week later, Kuchar won for the seventh time on the PGA Tour with a one stroke victory at the RBC Heritage. He shot a final-round 64, which included a chip-in birdie from a greenside bunker on the 18th hole to come from four shots behind and claim victory.[18] Kuchar held the lead after the opening round, but followed this with 73-70 over rounds two and three to fall four shots back going into the final round. He birdied seven of his opening eleven holes in the final round, to move clear of the field. However he three-putted from within four feet on the 17th hole to make bogey and fall back into a tie with Luke Donald. After hitting his approach to the 18th hole into a greenside bunker, Kuchar holed out for birdie and moved one shot ahead of Donald once again. Donald was unable to birdie any of the last three holes and Kuchar claimed the victory.[19]

2015Edit

At the Sony Open in Hawaii in January, Kuchar opened with 65-63 to lead after two rounds. He stalled on the weekend, however, to finish tied for third. In the final round Kuchar failed to make a birdie, snapping his streak of 255 rounds on the PGA Tour with at least one birdie.[20] The following week Kuchar tied for second, one stroke behind the winner, at the Humana Challenge.

In April, Kuchar contended at the RBC Heritage and finished in fifth place. His best performance in the season's majors came in August at the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin where he finished tied for seventh.

Kuchar played in only two official events outside of the PGA Tour in 2015 but did very well in both. He finished one stroke back to fellow American Rickie Fowler at the Scottish Open and won the Fiji International, an official event on the PGA Tour of Australasia.

Kuchar had seven top-tens for the season but did not win a PGA Tour tournament for the first time in four years. He finished well down the money list after finishing in the top 10 in earnings in four of the preceding five seasons.

2016Edit

Kuchar had 9 top-10s heading into the 2016 Summer Olympics, and continued his good run with a bronze medal after a final round 63.

2017Edit

In the 2017 season, Kuchar competed in 26 events on the PGA Tour, making the cut in 22, including nine top-10 finishes. He finished tied for fourth at the Masters, his fourth top-10 finish in that event. At the Open Championship, Kuchar shared the first-round lead with Brooks Koepka and Jordan Spieth and finished rounds two and three in solo second behind Spieth. After Spieth's near meltdown on the 13th hole of the final round, Kuchar held a one-stroke lead with five holes to play. However, Spieth played the last five holes in five-under-par to claim the championship by three strokes over Kuchar, who finished three strokes ahead of third-place finisher Li Haotong. Kuchar finished the year 14th in the FedEx Cup standings and represented the United States in the President's Cup, posting a 2–1 record in the United States' win.

2018Edit

In the 2017–18 PGA Tour season, Kuchar had another winless campaign. He played in 24 events. He had four top-10 finishes and made 20 cuts. He won $1,720,097 for the year and finished 76th in the season long FedEx Cup.

U.S. Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk named Kuchar as a non-playing vice-captain for the U.S. team in the 2018 Ryder Cup. The U.S. team lost to the European team 17 1/2 to 10 1/2 at Le Golf National outside of Paris, France.

On November 11, 2018, Kuchar won the Mayakoba Golf Classic in Cancun, Mexico. This event was part of the 2018–19 PGA Tour season.[21] Kuchar took home a winner's check of $1.296 million dollars and paid his caddie, David Giral Ortiz, the amount they agreed to for a top ten finish ($4,000) and an additional $1,000 on top of that to equal $5,000, which is a 0.38 percent tip of the $1.296 million, causing a social media controversy. This amount is below the average payout (10 percent) for a full-time caddie whose player wins. Because Kuchar's regular caddie was not available, Ortiz was hired and agreed to the terms presented. Ortiz has stated to Golf.com that he never expected the full 10 percent payout and that "Matt is a good person and a great player. He treated me very well. I am only disappointed by how it all finished." When asked about giving his caddie such a low tip, Kuchar defended his decision by stating, "For a guy who makes 200 a day, a 5000 dollar week is a really big week".[22] On February 15, 2019, Kuchar apologized and agreed to pay Ortiz the requested $50,000 and also donate an unspecified amount to local Cancun charities.[23]

2019Edit

On January 13, 2019, Kuchar won the Sony Open in Hawaii, his second win in three starts.[24]

On March 31, 2019, Kuchar reached the championship round of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play for the second time in his career, having previously done so in 2013 when he went on to win the title. He lost to Kevin Kisner, 3 & 2, in the final.[25]

Personal lifeEdit

Kuchar is married to Sybi Parker, who was a tennis player at Georgia Tech, and they live on St. Simons Island in Georgia. Their two sons are Cameron Cole and Carson Wright. Kuchar is a Christian.[26]

Amateur wins (2)Edit

Professional wins (15)Edit

PGA Tour wins (9)Edit

Legend
Players Championships (1)
World Golf Championships (1)
FedEx Cup playoff event (1)
Other PGA Tour (6)
No. Date Tournament Winning score To par Margin of
victory
Runner(s)-up
1 Mar 10, 2002 Honda Classic 68-69-66-66=269 −19 2 strokes   Brad Faxon,   Joey Sindelar
2 Oct 5, 2009 Turning Stone Resort Championship 67-68-67-69=271 −17 Playoff   Vaughn Taylor
3 Aug 29, 2010 The Barclays 68-69-69-66=272 −12 Playoff   Martin Laird
4 May 13, 2012 The Players Championship 68-68-69-70=275 −13 2 strokes   Ben Curtis,   Rickie Fowler,
  Zach Johnson,   Martin Laird
5 Feb 24, 2013 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship 2 and 1   Hunter Mahan
6 Jun 2, 2013 The Memorial Tournament 68-70-70-68=276 −12 2 strokes   Kevin Chappell
7 Apr 20, 2014 RBC Heritage 66-73-70-64=273 −11 1 stroke   Luke Donald
8 Nov 11, 2018 Mayakoba Golf Classic 64-64-65-69=262 −22 1 stroke   Danny Lee
9 Jan 13, 2019 Sony Open in Hawaii 63-63-66-66=258 −22 4 strokes   Andrew Putnam

PGA Tour playoff record (2–1)

No. Year Tournament Opponent Result
1 2009 Turning Stone Resort Championship   Vaughn Taylor Won with par on sixth extra hole
2 2010 The Barclays   Martin Laird Won with birdie on first extra hole
3 2014 Shell Houston Open   Matt Jones Lost to birdie on first extra hole

Nationwide Tour wins (1)Edit

No. Date Tournament Winning score To par Margin of
victory
Runner-up
1 May 21, 2006 Henrico County Open 71-67-69-72=279 −9 Playoff   Paul Claxton

PGA Tour of Australasia wins (1)Edit

No. Date Tournament Winning score To par Margin of
victory
Runner-up
1 Oct 18, 2015 Fiji International1 74-72-69-69=284 −4 4 strokes   Aron Price

1 Co-sanctioned with the OneAsia Tour

Other wins (4)Edit

Results in major championshipsEdit

Tournament 1998 1999
Masters Tournament T21LA T50
U.S. Open T14LA CUT
The Open Championship CUT
PGA Championship
Tournament 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Masters Tournament CUT
U.S. Open CUT CUT CUT T48 CUT
The Open Championship CUT CUT CUT CUT
PGA Championship CUT CUT
Tournament 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Masters Tournament T24 T27 T3 T8 T5 T46 T24 T4 T28
U.S. Open T6 T14 T27 T28 T12 T12 T46 T16 CUT
The Open Championship T27 CUT T9 T15 T54 T58 T46 2 T9
PGA Championship T10 T19 CUT T22 T7 CUT T9 CUT
Tournament 2019
Masters Tournament T12
PGA Championship T8
U.S. Open T16
The Open Championship
  Top 10
  Did not play

LA = Low amateur
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" = tied

SummaryEdit

Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 0 0 1 3 4 8 13 12
PGA Championship 0 0 0 0 4 6 11 6
U.S. Open 0 0 0 0 1 7 17 11
The Open Championship 0 1 0 1 3 4 14 8
Totals 0 1 1 4 12 25 54 37
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 14 (2013 Masters – 2016 Open Championship)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 2 (2017 Open Championship – 2017 PGA)

The Players ChampionshipEdit

Wins (1)Edit

Year Championship 54 holes Winning score Margin Runners-up
2012 The Players Championship 1 shot deficit −13 (68-68-69-70=275) 2 strokes   Ben Curtis,   Rickie Fowler,
  Zach Johnson,   Martin Laird

Results timelineEdit

Tournament 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
The Players Championship WD CUT T16 CUT T14 T13 T54 1 T48 T17 CUT T3 82 T17 T26
  Win
  Top 10
  Did not play

CUT = missed the halfway cut
WD = withdrew
"T" indicates a tie for a place.

World Golf ChampionshipsEdit

Wins (1)Edit

Year Championship 54 holes Winning score Margin
of victory
Runner-up
2013 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship n/a 2 & 1   Hunter Mahan

Results timelineEdit

Results not in chronological order prior to 2015.

Tournament 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Mexico Championship
Match Play
FedEx St. Jude Invitational T38
Tournament 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Mexico Championship T3 5 T8 T35 T13 T23 T28 T20 T58 50
Match Play R32 3 QF 1 R16 T34 R16 T30 R16 2
FedEx St. Jude Invitational T9 T19 T8 T27 T12 T25 T3 T17 T14
HSBC Champions T19 T21 T31
  Win
  Top 10
  Did not play
  • QF, R16, R32, R64 = Round in which player lost in match play
  • "T" = tied
  • Note that the HSBC Champions did not become a WGC event until 2009.

PGA Tour career summaryEdit

Season Wins Earnings (US$) Rank
2001 0 572,669 92
2002 1 1,237,725 49
2003 0 176,047 182
2004 0 509,257 139
2005 0 402,786 159
2006 0 30,297 241
2007 0 886,146 115
2008 0 1,447,638 70
2009 1 2,489,193 24
2010 1 4,910,477 1
2011 0 4,233,920 6
2012 1 3,903,065 11
2013 2 5,616,808 3
2014 1 4,695,515 9
2015 0 2,774,170 28
2016 0 3,819,678 15
2017 0 4,282,489 14
2018 0 1,720,097 71
Career* 7 43,707,977 13

* As of the 2018 season.

U.S. national team appearancesEdit

Amateur

Professional

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Dorman, Larry (May 14, 2012). "Kuchar smiles, and grinds, his way to a signature Playerswin". PGA Tour. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
  2. ^ Kendall, Mark (February 24, 2013). "Matt Kuchar beat Hunter Mahan 2&1 to win WGC Match Play Championship". Sky Sports. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
  3. ^ Jurejko, Jonathan; Reddy, Luke (July 23, 2017). "Spieth wins The Open - watch highlights". BBC sport.
  4. ^ Markus, Don (April 12, 1998). "Kuchar family living dream at Augusta Father, grandfather partake in Matt's success". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  5. ^ Shapiro, Leonard (June 21, 1998). "Unlike Son, Father Kuchar is Criticized". Washington Post. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  6. ^ Kuchar, Meg (May 11, 2013). "My son, the Tour pro: Matt Kuchar". PGA Tour. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  7. ^ "Molder chasing former GT teammate Kuchar". Vegas Insider. Associated Press. August 13, 2010. Retrieved October 15, 2013.
  8. ^ Elling, Steve (October 6, 2001). "Kuchar Beats Long Odds". Orlando Sentinel.
  9. ^ "Kuchar wins on sixth playoff hole". ESPN. Associated Press. October 5, 2009. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
  10. ^ "Matt Kuchar claims first win of year". ESPN. Associated Press. August 30, 2010. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
  11. ^ "Career Feats: Furyk named PGA Player of the Year; Kuchar earns first Vardon Trophy". PGA of America. November 15, 2010. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
  12. ^ "Kuchar wins multiple Tour season-ending awards". PGA Tour. November 14, 2010. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
  13. ^ "Steve Stricker wins Memorial by 1 shot". ESPN. Associated Press. June 6, 2011. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
  14. ^ "U.S. team wins golf's World Cup". ESPN. Associated Press. November 27, 2011. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
  15. ^ "Matt Kuchar wins as Ian Poulter finishes fourth". BBC Sport. February 24, 2013. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
  16. ^ "Bowditch survives to win Texas Open by one stroke". Reuters. March 31, 2013. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
  17. ^ "The Masters: Matt Jones earns Augusta debut with dramatic Houston win". CNN. April 6, 2013. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
  18. ^ "Kuchar Rallies, Chips in for RBC Heritage Win". ABC News. April 20, 2013. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
  19. ^ Dawes, Mike (April 20, 2014). "Matt Kuchar masterstroke wins him the RBC Heritage ahead of England's Luke Donald". Daily Mail. Retrieved May 21, 2014.
  20. ^ "Walker runs away with victory at Sony Open". PGA Tour. January 18, 2015. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  21. ^ "Kuchar holds on to win Mayakoba Classic". Associated Press. November 11, 2018. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  22. ^ "Matt Kuchar defends paying caddie $5K: 'Can't make everybody happy'". ESPN. February 14, 2019. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  23. ^ Bonesteel, Matt (February 15, 2019). "Matt Kuchar apologizes to substitute caddie, agrees to pay full amount requested". Washington Post. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  24. ^ Ferguson, Doug (January 14, 2019). "Another win for Kuchar, this victory with a rainbow". Associated Press. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  25. ^ Powers, Christopher (March 31, 2019). "Kevin Kisner defeats Matt Kuchar 3 and 2 in final match for his third career PGA Tour victory". Golf Digest.
  26. ^ Brown, Oliver (September 27, 2012). "Ryder Cup 2012: Webb Simpson and his born-again brotherhood come with a swing and a prayer". The Telegraph.

External linksEdit