Kuchar comeback seals Barclays title

Reuters - Mon, 30 Aug 00:17:00 2010

American Matt Kuchar won a play-off against Martin Laird of Britain at the first hole to capture the Barclays title in the opening leg of the FedExCup play-offs.

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After hitting his drive into heavy rough on the left side on the first extra hole, Kuchar punched a low approach shot that landed short of the green, hopped on and rolled to the back before turning left and following a slope down toward the cup.

Kuchar sank the three foot putt for a winning birdie at the 470 yard par four 18th and raised his arms in triumph.

"That shot came out beautifully," said Kuchar. "That was an exciting way to cap off this tournament."

Laird had opened the door for his rival when he bogeyed the final hole of regulation, taking three putts from 23 feet and missing a seven footer for par.

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Kuchar (66), who claimed his third US Tour win, and Laird (71) finished their rounds tied on 12-under 272.

Americans Steve Stricker (66) and Kevin Streelman (68) tied for third place on 10-under-par, while Tiger Woods ensured his place in next week's FedExCup Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston by shooting 67 for 277 and finishing in a tie for 12th.

Laird, 27, had led by three strokes after the third round and looked on his way to victory when he birdied his first two holes on Sunday before falling back with a double bogey at the par five third hole and another bogey at the next.

The Scot took two puts for birdie at the penultimate hole to reclaim a one-stroke lead over Kuchar but slid back with the bogey at the 72nd hole.

"Obviously not the finish I was looking for," said Laird, who won last year's PGA stop in Las Vegas. "But I'm very proud of the way I played today. I didn't feel like I had my best game."

It was the first win of a sterling season for Kuchar, who had clinched his US Ryder Cup debut by registering 10 top 10 finishes, including a tie for sixth at the US Open and for 10th at this month's PGA Championship, coming into the tournament.

"It's been an awesome year," said 32-year-old Kuchar, the former US Amateur champion. "I knew if I kept putting myself in contention that I would break through."


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