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Matt Kuchar Ends Drought with Win at Mayakoba Golf Classic

By Staff and Wire Reports of Global Golf Post 

It had been 89 PGA Tour starts since 40-year-old Matt Kuchar last won more than four years ago, a stretch that included a painful defeat at the 2017 Open Championship when Jordan Spieth closed in historic fashion at Royal Birkdale.

With Mayakoba Resort’s El Camaleon Golf Course being a short, narrow and soft venue that became defenseless without windy conditions, Kuchar’s game proved ripe to collect birdies in Mexico. He made 26 of them during the four rounds and ripped through the front nine in 15-under par for the week. Despite nervy bogeys on Nos. 14 and 15 coming down the stretch Sunday that cut his lead to one stroke, he eked out pars on the final three holes and just did enough to stay clear of the charging Danny Lee, who missed lengthy birdie putts on the final two holes.

“I played amazing,” Kuchar said. “That was some of the best ball-striking I’ve had, and through 60-some holes, awfully good putting, and then the putter kind of went a little bit on the fritz there coming in.

“I am so thrilled to be champion here. It’s been a long time for me. It feels extra sweet right now.”

It’s a rare victory for a player of 40 or older. In the 30 PGA Tour events before Kuchar’s triumph, the only fellow fortysomething to win was Tiger Woods (42).

Interestingly, Kuchar was a late addition to the field and did not have his usual caddie last week. His regular looper, John Wood, had planned a reunion and could not make it. That led to the tournament director, Joe Mazzeo, setting Kuchar up with a local caddie known as “El Tucán,” although his real name is David Giral Ortiz.

The Kuchar-El Tucán arrangement worked out well for both parties as Kuchar won and El Tucán earned a nice share of the nearly $1.3 million winner’s check.

“He was definitely my lucky charm,” Kuchar said. “He brought me good luck and certainly some extra crowd support and did a great job as well. He did just what I was hoping for and looking for.”

Among other players who capitalized on the scoring conditions, J.J. Spaun and Richy Werenski tied for third and entered the top 25 of the FedEx Cup points list. Brice Garnett had a strong weekend to round out the top five.

It looked for a while like young sensation Cameron Champ might challenge for a second PGA Tour victory following his maiden triumph at the recent Sanderson Farms Championship. Champ birdied No. 13 on Sunday to reach 20 under, but he made two double bogeys coming home and settled for a T10 finish.

Driver: Bridgestone Tour B JGR (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Atmos Tour Spec 6S

3-wood: Titleist TS2 (13.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Speeder Evolution 757 X

Hybrids: Bridgestone Tour B XD-H (18 degrees), Ping Anser (20)
Shafts: Fujikura Motore Speeder TS 8.8 X flex

Irons: Bridgestone J15CB (5-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 S300 (soft stepped)

Wedges: Bridgestone J40 Forged (52 degrees, bent to 51); Cleveland RTX-4 (58 bent to 57, 64 bent to 63 degrees)
Shafts: Aerotech Steelfiber i110X, KBS Tour 120 S, KBS Tour 120 S

Putter: Bettinardi Kuchar Model 1 Arm Lock (400 grams, 3 degrees loft, 71 degrees lie, 40.5″)
Grip: Bettinardi Arm Lock XL

Golf ball: Bridgestone Tour B X

Republished with permission from Global Golf Post.