What a difference a day makes. Matt Kuchar trailed 36 hole leader Sergio Garcia by four on Saturday morning, at the Shell Houston Open, he will have a four shot lead over the Spaniard when they tee it up on Sunday. Officials at the Golf Club of Houston will get another early start on Sunday ahead of forecasted Texas weather problems in Houston by teeing off on both nines, and playing threesomes once again.
Matt Kuchar had another fine round of golf on Saturday, shooting a four under par 68, but gave away another stroke on the 18th hole. It was the second day in a row that the 18th hole has bit the 35 year-old Georgia Tech grad. He was the only one on 18 in regulation, but was the only one who came away with a bogey.
Kuchar has made only three bogeys all week, and two of them were at 18. He picked a second on Saturday at the ninth hole.
This will be the second Sunday in a row that Matt Kuchar will tee it up in the final group on Sunday. He lost out last week in San Antonio when he couldn’t seem to find a fairway, or green at The Valero Texas Open.
“It’s a nice position to have played well last week, to have been in the last group with a chance to win, and to come back this week, completely different course, and have another shot to win,” Kuchar said.
Last week it was Steven Bowditch who came out of the pack and punched his ticket to Augusta, this week it looks to be Cameron Tringale. The 26 year-old from Mission Viejo, California shot a three under 69 on a cool, blustery day in Houston, and is looking for a reason to make different plans for next week.
He has vacation planned in Hawaii with his family next week, but those plans could change. A victory would earn him an invitation to next week’s Masters.
“Hopefully I’ll have a good round tomorrow and maybe ‘ixnay’ those plans,” he said.
Sergio Garcia got off on the wrong foot on Saturday with a bogey right out of the gate. It didn’t get much better throughout the afternoon as the 34 year-old Spaniard shot a one over par 73, and now trails the lead by four strokes. Garcia had led the field in Strokes Gained Putting during the first two rounds, but lost his stroke on Saturday.
I wouldn’t count Sergio out at this point, he is still close enough if Kuchar falters out of the gate today, and if he starts dropping putts again, could well become a factor before the day is over.