RBC Heritage. Magic Matt Kuchar Wins

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A magic final round from Matt Kuchar saw him win the RBC Heritage title at Harbour Town Gold Links.

Having a blast: Kuchar's hole-out leads to victory

Matt Kuchar / Getty Images

 

Matt managed to compile a final round of -7 under par 64, for his winning total of -11 under par.

Before the hole out from the bunker on the last for a winning birdie, Matt spoke to his caddie;

“I said to Lance, ‘I‘m about due to make one of these.  It was so cool to see that thing disappear at the end. I wasn’t too disappointed to end up in that front greenside bunker on eighteen.I knew it was a pretty easy up and down.” 

 

 

Luke Donald, who started the day with a two shot lead, finished in second place at -10 under par, Matt had quite a wait watching to see if Luke could catch him and force a play-off. It did not happen, and thankfully broke Matt’s Sunday slumps. Luke shot himself in the foot when he drove his ball way left out of bounds on the sixth hole, and carded a double bogey 6. He then found water again on 10, resulting in a bogey. He was happy with the way he is progressing;

“I hit a lot of solid shots, a lot to build off and I’m excited about some of the changes I’ve been making.”

John Huh and Ben Martin tied for third place at -9 under par for the tournament.

RBC Heritage. Luke Leaps to the Top.

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Luke Donald leaps to the top of the RBC Heritage leaderboard at Harbour Town Golf Links.

Donald surges to top with 66

Luke Donald / Getty Images

Luke posted another round of -6 under par 66, low round of the day, to sit comfortably on top of the leaderboard at the RBC Heritage at -8 under par, and a two shot lead. He spoke about the weather conditions;

“I’ve always liked this golf course, and the conditions were pretty manageable, for the front nine at least. I think we’re in for a very windy day tomorrow, so I’ll need to control the ball even better.”

John Huh is in second place, a third round of -3 under par 68, and a -6 under par total, would have been better if he had not three putted the last hole. John said his tee shot was OK, it would be difficult to miss the eighteenth fairway, it is the widest on the course, but the second put him in a bad spot;

“I hit a good drive, had about 200 yards and hit my rescue over, put myself in the wrong spot. Believe it or not, I’ve been playing really good, but I just wasn’t able to put everything together. I think this is the week that I’ve put pretty much everything together.”

Nicolas Thompson is in a four-way tie for third place, at -5 under par. Joining him on that score are Jim Furyk, Charl Schwartzel and Ben Martin.

Nicolas was upset at his putting performance today;

“The only thing that was really off was my speed control, I might have had a missed read or two here or there, but that happens. I don’t think I hit one putt too short today. This golf course is the ultimate patience test. You have to be so patient out here, because how many golf shots are you going to hit in the perfect spot off the tee, so you think, and not have an exact shot on the pin?”

Charl thinks he will have a chance if he just continues with the good ball striking;

“I think if I can continue the ball striking and giving myself chances I can make a few birdies tomorrow and give it a shot.”

First-round co-leader Matt Kuchar bounced back from Friday afternoon’s rough start, to finish in a tie for seventh place at -4 under par. He was happy with that result after a long day, he had played 29 holes;

“It helps to be in contention, it helps to really have an incentive to go out and play some good golf.”

RBC Heritage. Rain Stops Play. K.J. Choi Leads

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Rain stopped play in the second round of the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island.  K.J. Choi was the clubhouse leader at the cessation of play.

K.J. Choi shot a 4-under 67 on Friday. (Maddie Meyers/Getty Images)

K.J. Choi / Getty Images

K.J. benefited from an early tee time at Harbour Town and took full advantage, recording a second round -4 under par 67, to sit atop the leaderboard at the end of play with a total score of -5 under par for the tournament. He was aware that this course might suit his game and decided to play this year instead of taking his usual trip home at this time of year;

“If you just hit it beneath the trees, it’s a good course to play. It has very small targets and this course is working well.”

Robert Allenby is in second place at -4 under par, and has only completed five holes of his second round, he was pleased to get off the golf course;

“It’s not fun when it’s blowing 20 miles an hour every different direction and it’s raining at the same time. So it was nice get out of there.”

Scott Langley dropped back, with second round +2 over par 73, which left him tied in third place at -3 under par.

Luke Donald is one of those players tied in third, following his completed second round of -2 under par 69. Luke likes this course, and his results prove that;

“It’s a good course for me and my results have certainly showed that in the last few years. If I’d got hot with the putter it could have been really special but, still, a very solid round, and glad I’m done.”

“You’ve got to keep it in play and plot your way around this course, that’s why I’ve had some success here. It’s not a course you can overpower and you need to be proficient around the greens. I hit 15 greens and, with these small greens, it’s a job well done.”

Five-time RBC Heritage champion Davis Love III certainly won’t be around for the final two rounds of this competition, after following a strong -1 under par 70 on Thursday with an horrible 80 in the second round, his highest score ever in 93 career rounds at Harbour Town.

 Matt Kuchar is also in trouble +4 over par in six second round holes, yesterday he shot a -5 under par 66, and will need to regain some of that form if he is to make the cut. His bad start didn’t seem to bother him too much, he told reporters that he was having fun with his kids;
“Chasing my youngest around the beach, so had some fun this morning. It’s going to be lots of games and some movies maybe the next couple of days.”

It is going to be a long day tomorrow for some of these players, having to complete round two, and then set off again for round three.

RBC Heritage. Three-Way Tie at the Top.

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There is a three-way tie at the top of the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island.

Matt Kuchar carded his 19th round in the 60s this season. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

One of the three, Matt Kuchar / Getty Images

Matt Kuchar, Scott Langley and William McGirt all posted rounds of -5 under par 66 to share the first round lead at the RBC Heritage.

Matt  birdied both the par five holes on the front nine before finishing with a birdie on his final hole, the ninth. He thinks a lot of the players coming from the Masters will play well here;

” It was some awfully steady golf. You’re going to see a lot of guys, if they’re not too run down from a major championship, come out and play some pretty good golf the week following.”

Scott was inspired by the performance of Jordan Spieth at the Masters;

“Seeing Jordan do so well, almost win the Masters, inspired me a little bit.”

William McGirt was catching the good vibes from Scott;

“Scott and I were both making birdies left and right, it was easy to feed off each other.”

Harris English is alone in fourth spot at -3 under par, just two shots off the lead. There are a whole host of players at -2 under par, 15 of them in total. Fresh from his exploits at the Masters was Jordan Spieth, he was among those guys on -2 under par for the day, and was paired with the U.S. Ryder Cup Team Captain, Tom Watson and 2012 Ryder Cup Captain Davis Love III.Both of these guys have been winners here, and Tom wanted to take a close look at the way the young man played, so Jordan could find his name on the team sheet;

“It was unbelievable just to be playing with them. I was anxious to get back out and play another competitive round, so today was going to be kind of therapy, in a sense, from last week.”

If Nick Faldo does not pull his socks up he will find himself back in the TV booth pretty quickly. Nick stuttered to an opening round of +6 over par 77. This the course where Nick won his first ever U.S. PGA Tour title, in 1984.

RBC Heritage. G-Mac wins in Play-Off

G-Mac, Graeme McDowell, won the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links on the first hole of a sudden death  play-off against Webb Simpson at Hilton Head Island.

Life's a breeze

Graeme McDowell / Lecka / Getty Images

Graeme and Webb both finished the RBC Heritage tournament at -9 under par, in very windy and inhospitable conditions.

Graeme reported how hard it is to win;

” This game kicks you more often than it gives you a pat on the back, it’s hard to win. I guess the weather was what the doctor ordered. I needed that to get close to the leaders. It’s funny the way things happen, I wouldn’t swap this for a top ten last week.”

The reigning U.S. Open Champion, Webb Simpson, had a chance to win in regulation play, but his twenty two foot putt for birdie went three feet past the hole and set up the sudden death play-off.

Webb stated that he had no confidence coming in to this tournament, but was convinced that the last putt was going in;

” I came in with not too much confidence, but I just stayed true to the process of what we’ve been working on. I never thought I made a putt more than that birdie putt, it was in. With a foot to go, it was in the left side. Coming back, that was a hard putt, because by the grain and the wind it’s supposed to break, but the regulation putt didn’t break. So I was kind of stuck with, ‘What do I do?’ I tried to play it left center. It broke. My caddie and I called 18 holes today 18 acts, as if we were in a play, just because you really cannot think ahead out there. It’s as hard as we’ll ever play.”

A dejected Webb Simpson / Lecka / Getty Images

Luke Donald tied for third place with Kevin Streelman at -7 under par, Luke admitting that the weather forecast from the National Weather Service advising of gust up to 45 mph were accurate, the worst playing conditions all year;

” Extremely difficult, strongest wind I’ve played in all year.”

The 54 hole leader Charlie Hoffman nose dived in the final round, shooting a lackluster 77, which left him tied in sixth place.

Charlie said he played OK, just did not make the putts he needed to;

” I actually hit the ball all right today, I just didn’t make the putts like I needed to make yesterday. It was tough conditions and I didn’t capitalize on the situations that I had. The shots I hit good didn’t turn out like I thought they were going to turn out.”

 

RBC Heritage. Hoffman Handles Harbour Town.

Charlie Hoffman easily handled the Harbour Town Golf Links course in the RBC Heritage competition on Hilton Head Island. His third round of -5 under par 66 has given him a comfortable two shot cushion at the top of the leaderboard, at -11 under par for the tournament.

Hoffman surges ahead

Charley Hoffman / Lecka / Getty Images

Charley needed only 21 putts, and scored four birdies in his round on Saturday which surged him clear of the field at the 54 hole mark. This is the second time Charley has been in contention in this tournament , the last time was just last year in fact. The narrow fairways and small greens have always troubled Charley, he thinks maybe he was not mature enough to play the course properly before;

” I guess I wasn’t mature enough to play this course. Once you learn what side of the fairway to leave it on and where to miss, you have a real big advantage. I would say I wasn’t mature enough to play this golf course, I didn’t understand how to play it. I guess I would get frustrated when I hit the fairway and didn’t have a shot at the green. It was definitely the best playing round I’ve had in a long time.”

Cruising close behind Charley at -9 under par is Webb Simpson, his excellent third round of -6 under par 65 has put him in position to go for his first win since last years U.S. Open. Webb said he has been working on improving his swing;

“It’s all in my swing, we’ve been working on the same thing all year. We knew where we wanted to get, we just didn’t know how to work on it. Once we found out how to work on it, everything clicked. I think that’s the beauty of this golf course is on paper and even to the eye it seems pretty easy. But the greens are so small that it’s hard sometimes to get it near the pin, especially with the trees overhanging by the green. I’ve always loved coming here, it looks good to my eye. But I never have quite gotten it going like I did today.”

Kevin Streelman is in third place following his third round of -2 under par 69 but to get a win here Kevin will have to take some chances;

“I don’t have much to lose, I’m going to see what the course can give us.”

RBC Heritage. Three Tied at the Top, in Storm Hit Harbour Town.

Play has been suspended for the day with three players tied at the top of the leaderboard at the RBC Heritage on the Harbour Town Golf Links, at the rain affected end of the day. Kevin Streelman, Charley Hoffman and Steve LeBrun are at -6 under par for the competition.

Trio at the top

Steve LeBrun, Kevin Streelman and Charley Hoffman / Lecka / Getty Images

In the wet, windy and difficult conditions Kevin and Charley both had second rounds of -1 under par, 70 for their totals, with Steve LeBrun shooting a second round -3 under par 68.

Luke Donald also had second round of -3 under par, and shares T4 with Bill Haas, who came home in -2 under par for the day, both of them at -5 under par.

The next group of players, seven in all, are at -4 under par, they are all handily placed to go forward in this competition tomorrow. They are; Johnson Wagner, Rory Sabbatini, Graeme McDowell, D.H. Lee, Pat Perez, and two Aussies, Stuart Appleby and Marc Leishman. All these players are in the clubhouse, but the cut line has still to be determined  with 17 players still to complete their second rounds. The current cut line is at +1 over par, but could easily move to +2.

Pat Perez said his trying to stay calm;

” I’m trying to stay level, which is always, for me, trying to stay on a high, I’ve really worked hard on it this year. I don’t have the ups and downs. It’s hard, especially for me, because I’ve done it my whole life. But to say, that’s not going to bring me down, let’s try to make 5 instead of 6. And the next hole it’s basically done. I didn’t think I’d make a lot of birdies, but I seem to be hitting it closer than I ever have out here.”

One of those players teetering on the current cut line at +1 over par is Jesper Parnevik, and he is on the 18th hole with an agonising five foot putt left for his par. If he misses that tomorrow, he would drop to +2 over and that would move the cut to that number as well.

Obviously there are other players on the course who could make a birdie and change things back again, it will be a very interesting early start tomorrow.

Of those who have definitely missed the cut are; Vijay Singh +4, Ernie Els +4, John Daly +10, those are just a couple of the higher profile guys who have struggled in this competition.