Vaults to career-best No. 4 ranking in world standings
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 a 4-under 68 and a two-shot victory at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio. 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.
Tiger Woods made another triple bogey – two shots from a bunker, three putts from 15 feet on the fringe – at the par-3 12th and had to rally for an even-par 72.
Woods came into the Memorial having won three times in his last four starts, and left with the second-highest score of his career at 8-over 296.
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.
“This is such an amazing feeling. This never gets old,” said Kuchar, who won for the sixth time in his career. “To have Jack Nicklaus congratulate me is a real treat. This is as special as it gets.”
Chappell, who missed four birdie attempts inside 10 feet on the front nine, closed with a 4-under 68.
“He’s world class with that putter, and I figured it was over with,” Chappell said of Kuchar’s final putt.
Kyle Stanley ran off four birdies in a five-hole stretch to end the front nine and pull within one shot, but he fell back and finished alone in third.
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 runner-up last week at the Colonial.
Woods turned in some shocking scores. He had a 44 on the back nine Saturday, the worst 9-hole score of his pro career. He tied for 65th and was 20 shots behind, his largest deficit in a full-field event.
Scott Stallings matched the low score of the final round with a 67 and tied for fourth with Bill Haas (71).
Karrie Webb won her first LPGA Tour title in two years, rallying from five shots down for a two-stroke victory over Shanshan Feng in the wind-whipped ShopRite LPGA Classic in Galloway Township, N.J.
The 38-year-old Hall of Famer shot a magnificent 3-under 68 in blustery conditions to win for the 39th time on tour, the most among active players. She had a 4-under 209 on The Bay Course at the Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club, tying the highest winning score at the course.
Feng, the Chinese star who led by three shots entering the final round, shot a 75.
Russ Cochran won the Principal Charity Classic in Des Moines, Iowa, for his fourth career Champions Tour title, finishing with a 5-under-par 67 for a one-stroke victory over Jay Don Blake.
Cochran finished at 11-under 205 at Wakonda Club. The left-hander, two strokes behind second-round leader Duffy Waldorf entering the day, broke a winless streak that stretched 35 tournaments.
Waldorf had a 71 to tie for third at 9-under with Mark Calcavecchia and former Pullman resident Kirk Triplett. Calcavecchia and Triplett shot 67.
Alabama routed Illinois 4-1 in the match play final at Capital City Club’s Crabapple Course north of Atlanta, winning the men’s golf national championship for the first time.
Bobby Wyatt got Alabama off to a strong start in the first match, winning the first seven holes on the way to a 6-and-5 victory over Thomas Detry. Trey Mullinax, Cory Whitsett, Trey Mullinax, and Scott Strohmeyer also won for Alabama.
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