As of Sunday, April 8, 2012
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Gwinnett Daily Post
For complete coverage of the 2012 Masters Tournament, click HERE.
AUGUSTA — For a two hole stretch on the front nine, Augusta National played foil to Matt Kuchar.
He slid a makable birdie putt past the whole on the par 5 8th and then three-putted from about seven feet for a double-bogey on No. 9.
In two holes he lost two strokes and it felt like three.
Add in the pressure of chasing his first major in a state where he went to college on a course he first played as an amateur and Kuchar easily could have withered.
Instead, the 33-year-old rallied.
He played the next six holes 4-under par, including making his only eagle of the week on the par 5 15th, putting his approach shot with a 3-wood to about two feet.
“I've always felt like I was never going to give up,” the former Georgia Tech golfer said. “I have played a lot of rounds of golf where things weren't going well and I stuck with it. There always seems to be a situation in a time like this when things weren't going my way there for a while and I wanted to stick with it. It was great to see those efforts pay off.”
A bad break on his tee shot on the par 3 16th led to a bogey and kept Kuchar two-strokes from the top. He finished with two pars and walked of 18 with a smile.
“This is my first real experience with being in the hunt on the back nine of Augusta,” said Kuchar, whose best finish before this year's top-3 was tied for 21st in his first Masters as an amateur. “It's awesome. I don't know that there's much else like it. It was truly just a great afternoon. It was a lot of fun and great to have a chance.”