Kuchar killing it at Scottsdale
Matt Kuchar shot an impressive opening 64 on Thursday to take the first-round lead in the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale.
Kuchar eagled the par-five 13th and added two late birdies and a big par save on the rowdy par-three 16th hole to ensure he held a one shot advantage over Asian golfing phenom, Hideki Matsuyama.
Speaking after the round, Kuchar, a seven-times winner on the PGA Tour, admitted that he was delighted with how the day played out and attributed his low score to his accurate driving, refreshed mind and minor swing changes.
"I played so much this past summer, I needed a break and my break happened to be early on this year," Kuchar told Golf Channel after play was suspended for the day in fading light with nine players still on the course.
"I was able to be home, I was able to be dad. It was great fun for me. I also had some good things to work on this off-season and they paid off for sure.
“This course demands good driving of the golf ball. I had a fantastic day driving the ball and hopefully three more [days] to come."
Hot on his heels is Matsuyama. The 24-year-old Japanese player has recorded four wins and two runner-up spots in his last eight starts worldwide and once again finds himself in the mix.
Ominously for the rest of the field, he feels the best is yet to come this week.
"I'm not hitting it and putting as well as I did in Shanghai,” Matsuyama said after the round.
“Hopefully through the week here I can get up to that same level and compete for the win again."
Sixth-ranked American Jordan Spieth opened with a 70 while three-times former winner Phil Mickelson, a popular figure at Scottsdale after attending the nearby Arizona State University, carded a 68.
On this day in 2014 – Europe retain Ryder Cup with Gleneagles victory
The Gleneagles victory was Europe’s eighth win in 10 matches.
‘Is this where I am going to die?’ Nicolas Colsaerts on kidney disorder battle
The Belgian is the focus of attention this week as he belatedly defends the Cazoo Open de France title he won three years ago.
On this day in 2008: Ryder Cup misery in Louisville for Nick Faldo’s Europe team
Faldo was heavily criticised for his tactics in the closing singles.
Open champion Cameron Smith wins first LIV trophy in just second start
The world number two is the highest-ranked player to join the rebel series.
Robert MacIntyre beats Matt Fitzpatrick in play-off to win Italian Open
MacIntyre birdied the first extra hole at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club, the venue for next year’s Ryder Cup.
Matt Fitzpatrick holds narrow lead ahead of final round at Italian Open
Rory McIlroy and Aaron Rai are one shot off the pace.
Rory McIlroy picks up the pace to claim lead ahead of Matt Fitzpatrick in Rome
McIlroy’s group looked unlikely to complete their second rounds after taking three hours to play nine holes.
Matt Fitzpatrick leads way at Italian Open despite ‘inconsistent’ display
The US Open champion held a one-shot lead over fellow Englishman Tom Lewis,
Rory McIlroy rues a late night until eagle gets him flying in Italian Open
The four-time major winner was only a shot behind leader Matt Fitzpatrick after the first round of the Rome event.
Rory McIlroy begins Italian Open with superb 67 after recovering from slow start
He kick-started his round by holing out from 115 yards for an eagle on the par-four third.