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Still hope after 40, Kuch wins in Hawaii, a win for the old guys

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40 is not old. Let’s start with that. But in terms of the PGA Tour it seems like it is. The young players on tournament can hit longer than anyone in history or course architects ever imagined, and they are winning a lot.

Of the 10 winners on the 2018-19 PGA Tour season, starting with the Safeway Open in October, six players were born in the 90s, two in the 80s.

Sunday in Hawaii at the Sony Open, Matt Kuchar, joined Charles Howell III as the second winner on Tour this season born in the 70s.

At 40, (Howell III is 39) he’s the oldest winner on tour this season.

Last season five golfers had wins after 40: Tiger Woods Tour Championship,  Ian Poulter Houston Open, Paul Casey Valspar Championship, WCG Mexico Phil Mickelson and Ryan Armour at the Sanderson Farms Championship. (Bubba Watson turned 40 in December after two wins at 39 last season).  Besides those five mid-lifers, every other winner was a young gun.

“It is interesting to see how young the tour has gotten. I think it’s an exciting time to be part of the tour to see all these young players come out and do great things,” Kuchar admitted Sunday when asked about if his wins post-40 meant anything special.

But he added, “thankfully golf requires so many different things to be going right. It’s not just power game, a putting game. There are so many facets to the game that it allows people to play for a long time and play competitively and play great for a long time. I am grateful that the game requires so many different facets to it. It’s not just a long-drive contest.”

As much as we like to talk about Tiger and Phil etc, it’s Kuchar from that turn of the century era that often get overlooked as possibly stewards of the game or contenders late into their career rather than the big cat and lefty.

Kuchar was a guy who has struggled but appears to have simultaneously aged and mastered the inner game of not letting a few bad strokes or shots ruin a round. Plugging away, has been his game. Sunday’s win in Hawaii is his ninth PGA Tour win. He won in November, after not recording a victory since 2014 at the RBC Heritage.

Two wins in a young season, Kuchar looked good this week recording 24 birdies shooting 22-under to record a four-stroke victory over Andrew Putnam.

Kuchard ever grounded, said Sunday,  “It’s not like you hit 40 and you have to go away. There are guys that have done great. Certainly I’m off to a way better start than I would’ve expected. Feels good. I hope to continue. To have won two out of three starts on the PGA TOUR is mind boggling to me.”

 

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