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[ Home >> About Us - Store Information >> Great Golf Deals.com Blog >> Great Golf Deals Blog >> What's In The Winner's Golf Bag :Matt Kuchar Winner At The WGC - Accenture Match Play Tournament 2013 - Great Golf Deals.com Blog ]

What's In The Winner's Golf Bag :Matt Kuchar Winner At The WGC - Accenture Match Play Tournament 2013 - Great Golf Deals.com Blog

MARANA, Ariz. — The desert weather was capricious, delivering snow on the first day and biting 30-mile-an-hour wind gusts on the last. Then there was the format at the Accenture Match Play Championship, which produced several winners so unpredictable the best way to pick them was out of a hat.

Conquering the most fickle of tournaments was a player known for his constancy. Matt Kuchar, owner of an unchanging swing, an unshakable smile and an unflappable game, handed the defending champion, Hunter Mahan, a 2-and-1 defeat in the final Sunday at Dove Mountain. It was the first All-American championship match since Tiger Woods defeated Stewart Cink, 8 and 7, in 2008.

“He just made a bunch of pars,” Mahan said, referring to Kuchar, “and played really solid golf.”
That is Kuchar, a 6-foot-4 anchor in any storm. He built an insurmountable lead over Hiroyuki Fujita in the first round in sleet that turned to snow and weathered temperatures on Sunday that hovered in the 30s with the wind chill factored in. If Kuchar was ever on the verge of cracking like ice under the pressure of Mahan’s back-nine charge, he did not show it.

“I think I was hiding in my ski cap and ski mitts and did a good job of covering up any sort of nervousness,” said Kuchar, who avenged his 6-and-5 loss to Mahan in last year’s quarterfinals.

Kuchar came into the tournament ranked No. 23 in the world. Mahan came into the final having not trailed in match play in a stretch of 166 holes dating to his first-round match in 2012. He ran the string to 169 before losing the next three holes, all with bogeys, on his way to falling four holes behind after nine. Mahan cut Kuchar’s lead in half with a 9-foot putt for par at 10 and a 10-foot birdie at 11.

Mahan’s luck ran out on the 17th hole when his tee shot found a bad lie in a fairway bunker and his next shot nestled in a bush.

“I felt good,” Mahan said. “I just wasn’t executing my shots very well.”
The High Sonoran Desert course climbs in elevation from 2,300 feet to 3,000 feet. It played to 7,791 yards for the field and 7,311 yards for Kuchar, who never faced the par-4 18th in competition.

Kuchar opened the day with a 4-and-3 victory against Australia’s Jason Day in the semifinals while Mahan earned his berth in the championship match by turning back the Englishman Ian Poulter, the 2010 champion, 4 and 3.

A European television reporter asked Mahan after his semifinal what it was like to play “the thorn in America’s side,” a reference to Poulter’s 4-0-0 record for the victorious Europeans against the United States in last year’s Ryder Cup.

Mahan, who was devastated not to be a part of the 2012 United States team, said, “It’s easy to get up for Ian because he’s so good in match play.”

It was a rare daily double of defeat for Poulter, who lost to Day, 1 up, in the third-place match.
Mahan said he and Kuchar conversed more on the first hole than he and the fiery Poulter did in 15.
“He’s more of like a fuzzier Peter Jacobsen kind of guy who likes to talk,” Mahan said, referring to Kuchar. “He’s super competitive; I mean, there’s no doubt about it; he plays golf to win, and he works hard at it. I think he really enjoys playing.”

Kuchar has a sterling record in match play. The first time he qualified for the United States Amateur, in 1997, Kuchar won it, and his record at this event is 15-3. The secret to his success, he said, is that he approaches each match the same way he does a stroke-play round.

He hits fairways and greens and does not get caught up in what his opponent is doing unless he either hits “one to gimme length,” Kuchar said, or hits one where he “cannot make a par from a situation.”
Mahan said he played better, all things considered, this year than he did in 2012 when he beat Rory McIlroy, the soon-to-be world No. 1, in the final.

The loss to Kuchar stung, don’t get Mahan wrong. “The more you win, the more you don’t want to lose,” he said. But it was hard for him to begrudge Kuchar the victory. “Kuch, I think he deserved to win,” Mahan said, “because he did a better job in every facet.”


DRIVER: Bridgestone J40 (9.5°) with Accra M4+ 55 shaft
FAIRWAY WOOD: Ping Anser, 14.5°, with Mitsubishi Diamana Blueboard 73X shaft
HYBRID: Ping Anser, 20°, with Fujikura Motore Speeder HB 90X shaft
IRONS: Fourteen Golf (4-iron) with Aerotech SteelFiber i95 Constant Weight S-flex shaft, Bridgestone J40 Cavity Back (5-PW) with SteelFiber i95 Constant Weight S shafts
WEDGES: Bridgestone J40 (52°, 56° bent to 57°) with True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 steel shafts; Titleist Vokey Design (62°) with True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 shafts
PUTTER: Bettinardi Signature Model 1, 44.75"
BALL: Bridgestone Tour B330-S

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