Thursday, June 21, 2018

Kuchar wins PGA's Memorial

DUBLIN, Ohio — Matt Kuchar was in a good spot Sunday at the Memorial. He had his first multiple-win season and an audience with tournament host Jack Nicklaus.

Needing two putts from 20 feet to hold off a late charge from Kevin Chappell, Kuchar punctuated a remarkably steady final round by making the birdie putt for 4-under 68 and a two-shot victory at Muirfield Village. He joined Tiger Woods as the only players with more than one win this year on the PGA Tour.

Kuchar, who goes to a career-best No. 4 in the world, won the Match Play Championship in late February.

"This is such an amazing feeling. This never gets old," said Kuchar, who earned his sixth career win. "To have Jack Nicklaus congratulate me is a real treat. This is as special as it gets."

The final round was a snoozer until the very end, when Chappell birdied three of his last four holes. His approach to the 18th settled within tap-in range for birdie, putting a little extra pressure on Kuchar. When the putt dropped, he flashed that easy smile and thrust his fist into the air as his 3-year-old son, Carson, gave Nicklaus a high-five.

Chappell, who missed four birdie attempts inside 10 feet on the front nine, closed with 4-under 68.

"He's world class with that putter, and I figured it was over with," Chappell said of Kuchar's final putt.

Kuchar finished at 12-under 276 and will be looked upon as one of the favorites in two weeks at the U.S. Open. He was runner­up last week at Colonial.

For the second day in a row Woods made a triple bogey thanks to two shots from a bunker and three putts from 15 feet on the fringe at the par-3 12th and had to rally for par 72. He finished with the second-highest score of his career, 8-over 296, and a tie for 65th, 20 shots behind winner Matt Kuchar. It was the farthest Woods had finished behind a winner in a full-field event.

"It wasn't that bad (Sunday)," he said. "It was just one hole that cost me, obviously, a few shots."

LPGA: Karrie Webb won her first title in two years, rallying from five down for a two-stroke victory over Shanshan Feng in the wind-whipped ShopRite LPGA Classic in Galloway Township, N.J.

The Hall of Famer, 38, shot 3-under 68 in blustery conditions to win for the 39th time on tour, most among active players. The Australian had 4-under 209 total on the Bay Course at the Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club, tying the highest winning score at the course.

Playing in 25-30 mph wind gusts, Webb had two birdies, eagle and bogey, capping the round with a 5-foot birdie at the par-5 final hole. She also made six par-saving putts of 5-6 feet. "It never gets old. It never gets any easier, either," Webb said. "(Sunday) was extremely tough, and I'm just glad that I pulled it out."

CHAMPIONS: Russ Cochran won the Principal Charity Classic in Des Moines, Iowa, for his fourth career tour title, closing with 5-under 67 for a one-stroke victory over Jay Don Blake. Cochran finished at 11-under 205. The left-hander, two strokes behind second-round leader Duffy Waldorf entering the day, broke a 35-tournament winless streak.

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