Matt Kuchar will go into the U.S. Open Championship full of confidence, and whilst the bookies have him as 28/1 to clinch his first major championship, he is arguably the man to beat.
Not only has one of the most consistent performers in the world game just come off the biggest victory of his professional career, but he returns, from June 14-17, to the golf course where he won the title of low amateur some 14 years ago.
In June 1998, on his 20th birthday, Kuchar finished in a tie for 14th, the year after clinching the U.S. Amateur title at Cog Hill, and those memories will stand him in good stead.
But it’s hardly as if Kuchar needs those fond memories.
Aside from Jason Dufner, he is the form player in world golf. In his 11 starts this season, Kuchar – fifth in the Official World Golf Ranking – has recorded nine top 25 finishes, including five top tens.
He finished in a tie for third at Augusta, before a flawless showing at TPC Sawgrass gave him victory at the ‘unofficial fifth major’ of the season and the title of Players Champion.
His temperament and patience is second to none, something so vital when trying to negotiate the toughest tournament of the year, and one of the hardest first six holes in major championship history.
In addition, Kuchar is one of the straightest on the PGA Tour. He is 31st in Driving Accuracy, 15th in Greens in Regulation and, unsurprisingly, second in overall scoring average.
Given all the above, it would be a big surprise if Kuchar wasn’t in contention come Sunday.