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Kuchar wins ahead of Australian Open appearance

Matt Kuchar celebrates after holing the winning putt on the 72nd green.
There are parallels between the victories of Matt Kuchar and Lee Westwood on the PGA and European Tours this weekend, both players having not won for several years and both considered amongst the best active players without a major title.

Westwood won the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa, his first title since April of 2015, while in Playa Del Carmen in Mexico Kuchar won his first title in more than four years by edging out New Zealander Danny Lee to win the Mayakoba Classic.

Kuchar held off a determined final round challenge from the ever-improving Lee whose final round 65 saw him all but catch the 40-year-old American.

Kuchar appeared to have the event in safe keeping before bogeys at the 14th and 15th holes opened the door for Lee’s second PGA Tour title.

It was not to be as Kuchar held on to win his 8th PGA Tour title.

For Australian golf Kuchar’s win is an added bonus as, soon after his victory, he will be heading to Sydney to play the Australian Open followed by an appearance at the World Cup of Golf in Melbourne.

Lee’s form in recent weeks has shown considerable improvement and greater consistency perhaps coinciding with the pending arrival then birth of his first child, Roi Theodore, late in October.  

The former US Amateur Champion and, at the time, the youngest player to win a European Tour event when successful at the 2009 Johnnie Walker Championship while still an amateur, Lee is maturing into the sort of player many felt he might have been when completing a superb amateur career.

He has one PGA Tour title to his name when winning the 2015 Greenbrier Classic but the manner in which he is now playing and with the benefit of outstanding Australian caddie, Jason Hamilton, on the bag the stars appear to be aligning for the still only 28 year old.

Hamilton previously caddied for such luminaries as World Number ones, Lydia Ko and Yani Tseng, during their time at the top of the game.

J.J. Spaun and Richie Werenski tied for 3rd two shots behind Lee.

Cameron Davis finished as the leading Australian although a long way from the winner when 48th with Matt Jones 71st.

Davis will also be winging his way to Sydney for this week’s Australian Open where he will defend his 2017 victory.

 

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