Matt Kuchar won the Memorial Tournament for his sixth career title on the U.S. PGA Tour to join Tiger Woods as the only multiple champion this year.
Kuchar shot a 4-under-par 68 at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, yesterday for a four-round total of 12-under-par 276. Kevin Chappell was second, two shots further back and Kyle Stanley finished third at 7-under at the event that’s hosted by Jack Nicklaus.
“At the beginning of the year when I set goals I wanted to have a multiple-win year,” Kuchar, who was second a week ago the Crowne Plaza Invitational, said in a news conference. “To seal the deal with winning this tournament feels really good.”
The victory is worth $1.12 million to Kuchar, 34, who also won February’s Match Play Championship, a World Golf Championships event. Kuchar climbed to second in the season-long FedExCup standings behind Woods, who has won four times in 2013.
“I don’t feel like there are any real weaknesses in my game,” Kuchar said. “I feel like I have a great amount of control and enough distance to really be competitive.”
Woods, who won the Memorial for a fifth time in 2012, finished the tournament this year in a tie for 65th place at 8-over. Woods had an even-par 72 yesterday after playing the first half of his third round in 9-over 44, his worst nine holes as a professional.
The tour now moves to Memphis for the St. Jude Classic, the final stop on the world’s richest golf circuit before the U.S. Open, the second of the four annual major championships.
Kuchar said now that he’s accomplished one of his goals by winning more than once in a season, he’s targeting a first major title.
Nicklaus said in his news conference with Kuchar that he always went to a major-tournament venue a week early to work out how to play the course and get prepared mentally.
Kuchar replied that he’s never played Merion Golf Club so he’d follow the advice of 18-time major champion Nicklaus and travel to Ardmore, Pennsylvania, tomorrow to practice for the U.S. Open for as long as he needed to. With 20-1 odds to win at the Las Vegas Hotel’s Super Book, Kuchar is the third-favorite behind Woods (9-2) and Rory McIlroy (15-1).
“I certainly feel like I’m ready to show up and play some really good golf,” Kuchar said. “I’d love it if I could show up and play good enough golf to win a major.”