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A L BA N Y, BA H A M A S

M A T

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2016

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KUCHAR The golfer with the “life is good and I’m having fun” smile has a lot of reasons to be cheerful these days. How else can you describe a 2015-16 season highlighted by 10 top-10 finishes in 25 PGA TOUR events, tied for third most with Jason Day, and nearly $3.7 million in prize money? Not to mention a memorable final-round comeback in this year’s 2016 Rio Olympics, when he matched the course-record with an 8-under 63 to capture the bronze medal with a 13-under 271. Kuchar began Sunday’s Olympic final round at five under, seven shots behind leader and eventual gold medalist Justin Rose and four strokes out of third. However, after opening with a string of ho-hum pars, Kuchar caught fire on holes five through 10, playing them at six under, including an eagle putt on the par-5 10th. The 7-time PGA TOUR winner continued to play aggressively coming in, making birdie on 15 and driving the green at the par-4 16th. But a threeputt par stalled his run at the leaders. On the final par-5 18th, staring at sidewinding final birdie putt for a course-record 62, Kuchar left his ball one revolution short of the cup. Nevertheless, Kuchar finished 13 under, one shot behind silver medalist Henrik Stenson and three behind Rose. Had Kuchar made one more putt, he and Stenson would’ve had a playoff for silver. Just playing in the Olympics was a thrill itself. Add a 2016 Ryder Cup team championship, and a fan favorite “Kuch” has a lot to smile about indeed.

B I R T H P L AC E : W I N T E R PA R K , F LO R I DA , U S A

AG E

38

TURNED PRO

2000

TO U R WINS

7

HERO WORLD CHALLENGE MAGAZINE

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55


2016 Hero World Challenge