Kuchar stays hot, ties for 3rd at Doral
Matt Kuchar came into this season with three top-three finishes
in his last 52 PGA Tour starts.
So far in 2010, he’s 3-for-8.
Kuchar capped off a strong weekend at Doral with a final-round
68, and he finished the CA Championship at 11-under 277 and tied
for third, seven shots behind champion Ernie Els.
“Winning last year got me back on track again,” Kuchar said,
referring to his win last October over Vaughn Taylor on the sixth
hole of a sudden-death playoff at the Turning Stone Resort
Did it ever.
Kuchar opened the year by finishing third at the SBS
Championship, tied for second two weeks later at the Bob Hope
Classic and was in a three-way tie for third at Doral. He’s now
just over $1.4 million in earnings already this year, good for
seventh on the PGA Tour and about $550,000 behind Els.
TIGER WATCH: When Tiger Woods comes back, the PGA Tour hopes he
gives them maybe a few extra days to prepare for the inevitable
onslaught of extra attention.
“We need time to do it,” PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem
Finchem says he gets the Woods question – “When is he coming
back?” – about 300 times a day. Woods intends to remain out of
golf at least until the Masters, two people with knowledge of his
plans told The Associated Press last week. Finchem did not say when
he expects Woods to return.
“It’s going to be huge when he comes back,” Finchem said.
“And then we’ll see how … it’s going to be an interesting thing
to watch, how he re-enters the game, how he plays, how he deals
with the reaction to his statement.”
Finchem also said he believes Woods will return with “a renewed
“I thought he set the bar for himself, and we all know what
happens when Tiger sets the bar for himself,” Finchem said. “I’m
as excited as everybody else to see him back this spring, but my
sense is, we’ll know pretty soon.”
PHIL’S PLAN: Phil Mickelson has had a different schedule than
usual this year, and that’ll continue leading into the Masters.
Mickelson says the reason he decided to add Bay Hill was twofold
– one, he wanted to get a certain number of tournaments in before
Augusta, and two, his game simply isn’t where he wants it to be
“I am not playing as, or scoring, I should say, as well as I
need to heading into Augusta,” Mickelson said Sunday, after his
final-round 68 left him at 8-under 280 for the week.
Mickelson won at Doral a year ago.
He was bothered a bit by an elbow stinger on Saturday, but said
the problem “went away” before the final round.
TOO GOOD: Since 1983, only seven players had recorded a
hole-in-one, an eagle on a par-4 and an eagle on a par-5 in the
Robert Allenby joined that list this week.
Pat McGowan (Andy Williams San Diego Open, 1984), Blaine
McCallister (Tucson Open, 1987), Gary Koch (Andy Williams Open,
1988), Jesper Parnevik (BellSouth Classic, 2002), Jason Day
(Turning Stone, 2008) and Rickie Fowler (Frys.com Open, 2009) all
managed the same feat that Allenby posted this week.
Here’s something else they all have in common: Even with aces
and eagles on their cards, none of them managed to win those
DORAL FUTURE: Software company CA’s deal to be the title sponsor
of the World Golf Championships event at Doral ends this year, and
it’s expected that the tournament will have a different name in
PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said Sunday that Doral will be
on next year’s schedule, and that the event will remain part of the
WGC series. He said CA will reveal its plans regarding the
“repositioning of some of its marketing” in the next week or
Finchem said the tour does not anticipate having any trouble
finding a new sponsor for the Doral event.
POULTER’S DAY: Ian Poulter had a busy Sunday. Shoot 64, fly home
to Orlando and watch the Magic try to lock up a spot in the NBA
“Makes dinner taste better tonight,” Poulter wrote on his
Poulter and Alistair Presnell each shot 64 in the final round,
with Stewart Cink, Jason Dufner and Y.E. Yang each getting around
in 65. Of those five players, only Presnell cracked the top 10,
finishing in a tie for sixth.
No one shot better than 66 in the first three rounds at Doral
NOT SO EASY: PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem arrived in time
to greet the last dozen players teeing off at Doral.
In the final group was Ernie Els.
Els was among the most furious when Tiger Woods ended his three
months of silence on the Friday of the Accenture Match Play
Championship, the first sponsor to drop Woods. Els wasn’t aware
that Woods was headed back to therapy and described the timing as
“selfish.” Finchem later said he should have alerted players to
what was going on.
Finchem and Els have spoken over the phone since then, but as
the Big Easy approached the commissioner on the first tee, Finchem
offered a smile and handshake and said, “Go easy on me.”
Els forced a smile in return.