Matt Kuchar aims for first title defense at Sony Open


Matt Kuchar

Last year when Matt Kuchar won the Sony Open, a Rainbow appeared over the 18th green. With the rainy weather we’re having this week, but with it forecast to weaken as the weekend goes on, there’s a chance for a repeated display.

Of course, Kuchar would have go back to back at the Sony. A feat that has only been done four times. Most recently by Jimmy Walker in 2014 and 2015.

“Some great feelings. Some great memories,” said Kuchar when asked about his defense at Waialae Country Club. “I think those help spur on some more good play. Defending a title is hard thing to do. There’s certainly some extra pressure there. But it’s the same every week. I think all of us show up intending to win the tournament. It’s a hard thing to do. There’s only one guy that’s defending champion and it doesn’t happen all that often that he defends that title. The guys that do get a chance to defend, their games probably fit pretty well to the course. So they have a reasonable chance. But hard to beat 100+ of the best players in the world.”

Kuchar has won nine times on the PGA Tour, never claiming victory at the same tournament twice.

“You always hope to be in that situation,” said the bronze medalist from the 2016 Summer Olympics (an award he keeps in a sock in his backpack). “You hope to be the guy that gets a chance to defend that title.

Kuchar feels that he controls the ball well. And with gusty weather all week, hopes that gives him an edge.

“Winds are up. I feel like that bodes well for me,” said Kuchar. “Conditions are surprisingly soft, as far as the golf course is concerned. Typically with high wind it dries places out. Typically windy goes along with firm and fast. This is not firm and fast this week.”

Kuchar tees off at 12:40PM on the first tee on Thursday. He’ll be playing with Brendan Todd and last week’s winner at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, Justin Thomas who will be looking for a different type of back to back wins.

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