Matt Kuchar captured his fourth U.S. PGA Tour title with a two-shot win at the Players championship, golf’s richest tournament with a $9.5 million purse.
Kuchar, 33, shot a 2-under-par 70 yesterday and finished with a four-round score of 13-under 275 at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Rickie Fowler, Zach Johnson, Ben Curtis and Martin Laird tied for second place at 11 under.
Kuchar received $1.71 million for his first win since the 2010 Barclays tournament, the first event of the FedEx Cup playoff series. He said the latest victory was the biggest of his career, coming against a field that included nine of the top 10 players in the Official World Ranking.
“It’s exciting to win tournaments, to be in this position, to have this trophy,” Kuchar said. “This tournament, you had to have had the strongest field in the world, and to come out on top is just an amazing feeling.”
Kuchar shot rounds of 68 the first two days and then had a third-round 69 to start the final round one shot behind 54-hole leader Kevin Na. Kuchar had four birdies and two bogeys yesterday to become the first American to win the tournament since Phil Mickelson in 2007. He celebrated the win with his family -- including his wife, two sons and mother -- on the 18th green.
“I’m very happy with where my game is and with what I’ve become as a golfer,” Kuchar said at a news conference. “I try not to think too much about being an elite player, being considered a top-10 player in the world rankings, that sort of thing. I just try to go out and play the best I can.”
Fowler, who got his first PGA Tour win the previous week in Charlotte, North Carolina, missed a birdie putt at the final hole to finish tied with Johnson, Curtis and Laird. They received $627,000 apiece.
Luke Donald was 9 under par, one better than Na, Bo Van Pelt and Jhonattan Vegas. Na shot a 4-over-par 76 during the final round.
Tiger Woods tied for 40th place at 1 under par, 12 shots behind Kuchar, after a final-round 73. He shot below par once in four rounds, with a second-round 68.
The PGA Tour next heads to Irving, Texas, for the Byron Nelson Championship, which is scheduled for May 17-20.
To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Matuszewski in New York at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at firstname.lastname@example.org