Matt Kuchar’s Near Perfect Month

 

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Matt Kuchar holes out from the green side bunker on his 72nd hole which led to a one shot victory of Luke Donald

Just over two weeks ago, he was defeated by Matt Jones in a sudden death playoff after Jones’ holed out from 42-yards, he finished T5 at this years Masters, but this week it was Matt Kuchar’s time. Matt Kuchar (-11) defeated Luke Donald by one stroke at the RBC Heritage to capture his seventh PGA tour win. After a spectacular hole out from the green side bunker on the 18th hole to shoot, a record tying final round, 64.

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This has been an almost near perfect month for Matt Kuchar, finishing in the top 5 at each event. Many people would assume that the golf courses Kuchar has played fit his playing style, but that isn’t the case at all. TPC San Antonio, the Golf Club of Houston, Augusta National, and Harbour Town Golf link have nothing in common. They all have different weather, different grasses, and all play to different strengths.

“It’s amazing to have four straight weeks of changes on four completely different golf courses,” said Kuchar, who now has eight top 10s in 11 starts this season. “I take a lot of pride in playing good week in and week out. This has been some excellent play.”

For the last 5 years Matt Kuchar has been the most consistent player on TOUR, having just two missed cuts in 63 starts.

What has guided him to his recent success? When it comes to his bag, Matt Kuchar isn’t loyal to just one brand. He carries clubs from five different equipment manufactures.

Lets take a look inside his bag:

Driver: Bridgestone J40 430, 9.5 degree

3-wood: PING G25, 15 degrees

Hybrids: PING Anser, 20 degrees, PING Anser, 23 degrees

Irons (5-PW): Bridgestone J40 Cavity Back

Wedges: Bridgestone J40 Black Oxide, 52 degree. Cleveland 588 RTX Satin, 58-12 degrees. Titleist Vokey SM4 Spin Milled, 62-07 degrees.

Putter: Bettinardi Matt Kuchar Signature Model 1

Ball: Bridgestone Tour B330-S

Hopefully he will continue to swing great and putt well so we can hear more “Kuuuuuchh” roars from the crowds.

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Big names miss the cut

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Leader, Bubba Watson, after 36-holes

After the ceremonial tee shots from Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, and Jack Nicklaus the 78th Masters Tournament officially got underway on Thursday. The field made up of 97 players got off to a hot start, especially Bill Haas who was in the lead after the first day posting a 4 under 68.

But the story of the second round at this year’s Masters was Bubba Watson. The 2012 Masters Champion shot a 4 under 68 to take a 3 shot lead over John Senden heading into the weekend. Bubba carded 5 birdies in a row starting on hole 12 and continuing until he made par on hole 17.

The cut this year, included 51 players at 4 over or better for 36 holes. A few notable names in the top 51 include the lone amateur, Oliver Goss, 54 year old, Fred Couples, 1st time Masters participant, Jordan Spieth, and many more.

The other 46 players didn’t have the luck on their side this week; lets take a look at 5 notable players that missed the cut this year.

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Sergio Garcia

#5. Sergio Garcia. Many picked Sergio to win this year’s Masters because he is due for a major championship. Coming off a T-8 in last year’s Masters, the Spaniard won’t be playing on the weekend this year. He missed the cut by 1 after bogeying his final two holes on Friday en route to a 3-over 75.

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Patrick Reed

#4. Patrick Reed. After winning at the Cadillac Championship in March named himself as one of the top-5 players in he world. But this week Patrick Reed never got it going, opening up the tournament with a 73 followed by a 79 to miss the cut by 4 shots.

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Ernie Els

#3. Ernie Els. The four time major champion winner missed the cut in a major for the second straight time after failing to reach the weekend at last years PGA Championship. Els carded 10 bogeys at this year’s Masters missing the cut by 1 stroke.

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Jason Dufner

#2. Jason Dufner. The 2013 PGA Championship winner miss his first cut in a major since 2011, by a wide margin. Missing the cut by 6 shots after carding a quadruple bogey on No. 13 on Thursday en route to a first round 80.

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Phil Mickelson

#1. Phil Mickelson. The lefty found himself behind from the start after carding a first round 76. Making matters worse, he tripled the par-3, No. 12, on Friday after going bunker to bunker to put himself right over the cut line. He made quite the charge with birdies on three of his final five holes on Friday, but it wasn’t quite enough.

Other notable players to miss the cut include Hideki Matsuyama, Graham Delaet, Matteo Manassero, Keegan Bradley, and former Masters champions Angel Cabrera and Trevor Immelman.

Today marks the start of the 2014 Masters Tournament

It is officially Masters week. Today marked the start of the best week of the year for many avid golf fans. This is a busy week for Augusta National, with tournament play beginning on Thursday for the 91 professionals and 6 amateurs.

Lets take a look at the top 5 stories of the 2014 Masters.

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Craig Stadler (left) and son Kevin Stadler (right) talk to media

#5. 2014 is the first Masters that both a father and son have been in the field. Over the 77 years of Masters play, there have been many father and son duos to compete in the tournaments but never in the same year. This year the 1982 Champion, Craig Stadler, will return to the field, thanks to a life time exemption, and will be joined by his 34 year old son Kevin, whose win at the Phoenix Open in February secured his spot for this years Masters.

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The famous Eisenhower Tree

#4. The 17th hole at Augusta has a new look; the 65 foot high loblolly tree, a little over 200 years from the tee, is no longer there. The “Eisenhower Tree” was damaged in a February ice storm causing it to be removed from the fairway; the absence of the tree remarkably changes the look of the par four.

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Adam Scott, 2013 Masters Champion

#3. Can Adam Scott win the green jacket for consecutive years? Only 3 players, Jack Nicklaus (1965-66), Nick Faldo (1989-90), and Tiger Woods (2001-02) have been able to maintain the green jacket for two years in a row. After making history last year, becoming the first Australian to win the Masters, could he become the fourth player to win back-to-back green jackets?

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Adam Scott (left) shakes hands with Henrik Stenson (right)

#2. The race to emerge from the weekend with the title “The World’s Best Golfer” is on. Adam Scott and Henrik Stenson could become the No. 1 in the world based on their finishes at Augusta. Scott needs to finish at a two-way tie for third or better, while Stenson needs at least a two-way tie for second, to have any shot at becoming No. 1.

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Tiger Woods

#1. No Tiger Woods, but the show must go on. Tiger set the stage for excellence at Augusta National winning the 1997 Masters by a huge margin for his first of 4 green jackets. It won’t be the same this year, thanks to recent surgery to repair a pinched nerve in his back, Tiger has to miss his first Masters since he started back in 1994.

Who did you pick to win this years Masters tournament?

There will be no green jacket for Tiger Woods this year

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I am writing this post while tears well up in my eyes, knowing that the best time of the year for me, as a golfer, just took a turn for the worst. With only 8 days until the eve of the first round of the Masters Tournament an upsetting announcement was made stating that Tiger Woods will not be playing in the 2014 Masters due to a back injury.

This will be Tigers first time missing the Masters since that start of his career back in 1994. He is a four-time Masters Champion winning his first Masters during his first year as a professional by an incredible margin of 12 shots marking it his first of fourteen major championships.

Tiger Woods underwent back surgery on Monday to fix a pinched nerve in his lower back that has been hurting him for some time. The microdiscectomy was performed by neurosurgeon Dr. Charles Rich in Park City, Utah. Woods will begin “intensive rehabilitation and soft-tissue treatment” within a week, and the goal is for him to return to competition “sometime this summer.”

In a statement Tiger was quoted saying, “After attempting to get ready for the Masters and failing to make the necessary progress, I decided, in consultation with my doctors, to have this procedure done. I’d like to express my disappointment to the Augusta National membership, staff, volunteers and patrons that I will not be at the Masters. It’s a week that’s very special to me. It also looks like I’ll be forced to miss several upcoming tournaments to focus on my rehabilitation and getting healthy.”

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It is unclear as if Tiger will even be ready for the third major of the year, The Open Championship, which will be held at the Royal Liverpool July 17-20.

After multiple injuries causing him to miss all 4 majors now, Tiger still remains positive about the future. Tiger said in a statement, “It’s tough right now, but I’m absolutely optimistic about the future. There are a couple [of] records by two outstanding individuals and players that I hope one day to break. As I’ve said many times, Sam (Snead) and Jack (Nicklaus) reached their milestones over an entire career. I plan to have a lot of years left in mine.”

The Masters begin on April 10, and the field will not be the same without Tiger Woods. All we can do now is hope that the headlines next year read, The 2015 Masters Champion: Tiger Woods!!

Winning on the PGA tour is getting harder to do

ImageThis last week, 23-year-old Patrick Reed won the Cadillac Championship with a one shot victory over a field made up of many veterans; notables including Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. He went back and forth with ties for first during the final round, but ultimately pulled out the victory to make this his second win of the season, and his third win dating back to this past August. After winning the Cadillac Championship, Reed was quoted saying, “I’m one of the top five players in the world. I feel like I’ve proven myself.”

Already on tour this season, two players combined have won 5 PGA tour events, Jimmy Walker (three wins) and Patrick Reed (two wins), while veteran Tiger Woods wore his Sunday red for the first time this week, after missing cuts in previous tournaments this 2014 season and having to withdraw last week due to back spasms.

Reed (23) and Walker (35) are the latest young and rising stars to win on the PGA tour. Other notable wins by newcomers include Harris English (24) winning in Mexico last November grabbing his second win in 6 months, along with Jordan Speith (20) winning last July, and starting this year off hot by giving himself three great chances to win.

But winning is getting harder, even for the players who are used to winning a lot. Each season the PGA tour seems to bring a new group of talented and young players who have a lot of skill and no fear. 10 out of the last 17 wins on the tour this season have been players in there 20s.

With the Masters being only a month away, and the field being stronger than ever, the green jacket is up for grabs. Are we going to see Adam Scott put the green jacket on a player in his 20s, or on a guy with a little more experience like Tiger Woods?

With the first of the four majors approaching quickly talk on  whether or not Tiger Woods will be able to surpass Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18 majors is beginning again but being 4 shy of 18, time may not be on Tiger’s side.

For me, I would love to see Tiger Woods walk away from Augusta wearing his 5th green jacket but with the back spasms that caused him to withdraw from a recent tournament and the obvious pain he was in at the Cadillac Championship the odds of him playing pain free for four rounds are not looking to be in his favor.Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 10.46.49 AM

The masters is the most exciting time for avid golf fans, with 30 days to go fans are making their picks and choosing their champions. Will it be a young rising star, or will we see Tiger Woods collect his 15th major win.

Who do you have winning in April?

Something is Missing at Augusta National

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The Eisenhower Tree, possibly the most famous tree in golf, sits on the 17th hole of Augusta National. But with the huge ice storm that hit Georgia and Augusta National, with only 2 months until the start of the 2014 Masters Tournament, has forced the tree to be taken down because of damage from the storm.

The loblolly pine tree, that sat about 210 yards off the left of the 17th fairway forced players to aim right and away from the tree or made players become a little more creative and shape the flight of their ball from right-to-left to avoid it.

The tree made one of the members so mad because he hit the tree so often that he campaigned to have it removed and proposed the idea to Augusta National that it should be cut down. The idea was over ruled but because of this they eventually named the tree after the member — former President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

After hearing the news of the 65-foot tall tree, many tour players on the PGA had mixed feelings towards it. Curtis Strange, two-time U.S. Open champion, says that the tree got in his way so it doesn’t hurt his feeling seeing it be removed. While David Duval, who has contended for four green jackets was stunned, and quoted saying, “Are you kidding me? That tree made you really pay attention to where you’re driving it. It made for a very narrow tee shot. You either had to go up over it or around it.”

With the ice storm that hit, it caused the tree to lose a significant amount of major limbs, and the club had used cables to hold the pine together in recent years but they were unable to save it this time.

Club Chairman, Billy Payne, made sure to specify that no other damage was done to the course and Augusta National will not be affected in its preparations for the Masters, which start on April 10th.