Scott misses cut but Leishman looks a threat in Hawaii

Heather Diaz
January 14, 2019

The victor of the Mayakoba Classic in Mexico in November, world No.32 Kuchar briefly surrendered the lead to Putnam after three bogeys in his first five holes on Sunday.

"It was not at all what I was looking for", Kuchar told the Golf Channel about his poor start.

This time, he wouldn't let go, with three birdies over his final four holes to emphatically seal a four-shot victory. Kuchar is en route for his second victory of the ongoing season on the PGA TOUR, having ended a three-year drought by winning the Mayakoba Classic in Mexico earlier this season.

Matt Kuchar, in some of the best form of his career at age 40, vaulted to the lead after the second round at the Sony Open in Hawaii on Friday.

Kuchar is one shot clear of Putnam, who fired a five-under 65 and four strokes ahead of Stewart Cink and Chez Reavie, who shot 62 and 65 respectively in the Tour's first full-field event of 2019.

"Kuch is playing well, so I feel like I've got to get out there and make some birdies if it's not too windy", Putnam said. "Getting the birdie on 15 and 16, it made No. 18 awfully nice to play".

He never looks to be under stress, though Kuchar says looks can be deceiving.

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At the 417-yard par-4 16th, after his drive went to the fairway bunker Smith stuck his next shot close and carded a birdie.

But Kuchar edged back in front when he pitched to three feet to set up a birdie at 10 before holing from 10 feet at the 12th, although Putnam then regained a share of the lead with a clutch 20-foot putt for birdie at the 13th. He won the Match Play Championship and the Memorial in 2013. "To win two out of three is insane to comprehend".

The 26-year-old Imahira, who carded an eagle on the par-5 18th, finished the day in a tie for seventh with Hudson Swafford of the United States.

He'll be very comfortable over the next few weeks, remaining in Hawaii with his family for a two-week vacation. But I enjoy the challenge even when you're not playing well of trying to figure out shooting a score.

He at least made the cut, more than could be said for Jordan Spieth, who missed by a stroke despite a 66 for one-under. Instead, it turned into the American's first top-10 finish since the 2017 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and his best result since winning the Desert Classic nearly exactly two years ago.

"I'm just going to stay aggressive".

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