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Matt Kuchar starts Hawaii vacation with a victory

Jan. 13, 2019 Updated Sun., Jan. 13, 2019 at 9:17 p.m.

Matt Kuchar waves after making birdie on the ninth green during the final round of the Sony Open PGA Tour golf event, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019, at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu. (Matt York / Associated Press)
Matt Kuchar waves after making birdie on the ninth green during the final round of the Sony Open PGA Tour golf event, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019, at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu. (Matt York / Associated Press)
By Doug Ferguson Associated Press

HONOLULU – Matt Kuchar overcame three early bogeys that cost him the lead with flawless golf and two key birdies on the back nine to close with a 4-under 66 and win the Sony Open for his second PGA Tour title this season.

It wasn’t as easy as his four-shot victory over Andrew Putnam might indicate.

Having made only one bogey through 54 holes to build a two-shot lead, Kuchar had three bogeys in his opening five holes Sunday and fell one shot behind Putnam. Tied for the lead with five holes to go, Putnam made bogey from the bunker on No. 14 and Kuchar birdied the next two holes to seize control.

Putnam closed with a 68 and moved into the top 50 for the first time in his career.

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