Consistent Kuchar aiming for victory
It is incredible that we are already at the midway stage of the golf season but the excitement only goes north from here as the summer approaches.
After thrilling finishes on both the European Tour and PGA Tour last weekend, this Sunday afternoon is set to be a more of the same as a host of big names get ready to fire.
Sergio Garcia and Matt Kuchar are both headline acts with multiple Champion Golfers looking to get back in the winners circle.
Kuchar leads the charge in Houston
To welcome in the second half of an exciting campaign on the PGA Tour, the tour lands in San Antonio for the Valero Texas Open. There are a number of strong contenders, headed by defending champion Kevin Chappell and Charley Hoffman – who both excel at The AT&T Oaks Course.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) April 17, 2018
But perhaps the early favourite is Matt Kuchar – the PGA Tour’s Mr Consistent. The 39-year-old, who finished runner-up at Jordan Spieth at The 146th Open, has enjoyed a strong first half of the season but is still yet to claim a win.
A fifth-placed finish at the Waste Management Phoenix Open remains his best result this year but he has contended at most tournaments he has entered – including the Masters earlier this month. Kuchar goes well at The AT&T Oaks Course too, with three top-15 finishes and a scoring average of 71.58. With two top tens and two top 30s in his last four starts, the popular American is well-placed to go well again.
Johnson and Scott set to provide major threat
With many of the game’s biggest names still recovering from the Masters and taking a break before a demanding summer, it gives another chance for the rest of the pack to steal the limelight.
One player used to that is Zach Johnson. The 2015 Champion Golfer has had a quiet season by his standards, with a best result of eighth at the RSM Classic. However, he remained in contention until the final day at the Masters, while he was steady, if not spectacular, in Harbour Town last weekend.
Another set to contend is Australia Adam Scott. The 2013 Masters champion has endured a tough year but is slowly regaining his form, with two top-20 finishes in the last month.
Molinari returns to defend title
The European Tour heads to Morocco this week and for Edoardo Molinari it is a reminder of happier times. The Italian is the defending champion, holding off Ireland’s Paul Dunne in a play-off last season for his third European Tour title and his first in seven years.
He has not won since and leads an experienced collection of tour veterans who will all be gunning to take his title.
Paul Lawrie, the 1999 Champion Golfer of the Year, is also heading for Rabat along with Ryder Cup stalwarts Robert Karlsson, Victor Dubuisson, Jamie Donaldson and 2018 captain Thomas Bjorn.
But Molinari is confident he can hold them all off at a course he loves.
"It’s always special having the opportunity to defend a title, and I can’t wait to return to Morocco to do so next month,” said Molinari. "The win last year was very important for my career, as I had struggled for a long time with injuries and bad form."
"I really had to earn it. Paul was playing some great golf and pushed me all the way on the final day and in the play-off" he added. "I’m looking forward to seeing how the golf course plays after the recent renovations, it will pose a new challenge for all of us."