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Kuchar's difficult decision could yield an Australian Open title

So far his difficult decision is paying off (Photo: Bruce Young)
Matt Kuchar might well go on to win this week’s Emirates Australian Open and if he was to do so it would further justify what must have been a tough decision for him in choosing between a trip down under and the chance to play in a PGA Tour event at his home course at Sea Island in Georgia.

This week's RSM Classic is a US$6.4 million event in which Kuchar has been a regular participant but he decided to forgo the comforts of playing at home and for six times the prizemoney to play in Australia and the Australian Open is the better for it.

The 40 year old has no doubt been paid significantly for his appearance at the Australian Open but money is not the driving force behind the sort of golfer that Kuchar now is. 

Kuchar’s profile, added to by his win in Mexico last week, has played a key role in the lead-up to this week’s event in Sydney especially given the absence of three of Australia’s leading players, Jason Day, Marc Leishman and Adam Scott.   

Kuchar took advantage of his involvement in next week’s World Cup in Melbourne to make his trip to Australia a two-pronged campaign in this country and while he would have no doubt enjoyed playing an event at home and sleeping in his own bed he was keen to play the events here.

“Yes, that is a tough one," he said referring to the decision he had to make.  “That's a hometown event.  It is hard not to be waking up in my own bed and supporting the hometown event, but this is a trip that I saw on the radar, got excited about the opportunity to play here, play World Cup.  It's just a great two weeks, a great adventure for the family."

Kuchar’s close relationship with the Sea Island tournament and those involved in its administration provided a sympathetic ear and their understanding has no doubt made the decision easier.   

“I think in talking to all the guys involved with the tournament, everybody understands, Davis Love (tournament director) better than anybody. That I played that event a lot and if I need to miss it this year, it's okay. They hope to see me again next year. 

“It's nice to have a guy like Davis running the event that understands the travel and the different pulls from different events.  So it was I think just a whole lot easier having a tournament director that is a player like Davis.”

Kuchar is shaping as a real chance to win his second PGA Tour of Australasia event following his win in Fiji in 2015 as he heads into the weekend just one shot behind the lead of Max McCardle and Ben An.

If he was to do so then it will be a significant boost for an event which has suffered from a lack of world class stars.

In that respect Sea Island’s loss is Australia’s gain.


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