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Kuchar adds Memorial to trophy cabinet

ESPN staff
June 2, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Matt Kuchar was victorious in Ohio © Getty Images
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Memorial Tournament leaderboard

Matt Kuchar proved the class of the field as he claimed the Memorial Tournament with an impressive final round performance at Muirfield Village on Sunday.

Having turned professional in 2000, Kuchar had claimed just three PGA Tour titles in the first 11 years of his career - but the 34-year-old picked up his third title in the last 13 months with a two-shot victory at Jack Nicklaus' tournament in Ohio, thanks to a closing round of 68.

"This is such an amazing feeling - this stuff never gets old," Kuchar said afterwards. "To have Jack Nicklaus congratulating me is a treat - but the real treat is having my wife and my kids here to celebrate with me."

Kevin Chappell finished second after a strong back nine, with Kyle Stanley - the other member of the tournament's final three-ball - finishing third despite a mistake at the 17th.

In truth it was Kuchar's tournament to lose for much of the afternoon, as the American birdied his opening hole of the day and consistently made putts he needed to in order to maintain momentum.

Kuchar bogeyed the fourth but immediately hit back with a birdie at the fifth - with two further birdies around the turn giving him a cushion around the turn on his rivals. A bogey at the 16th then cancelled out a birdie at the 15th - before a crucial par at the 17th (holing a six-footer after finding a fairway bunker with his tee-shot) gave him a two-shot advantage over Chappell heading to the last.

Chappell endeavoured to keep things interesting after knocking his approach shot at the last to within tap-in range, but Kuchar was not fazed - rolling home his own birdie putt from 18 feet to finish at 12-under par and clinch his second PGA Tour victory of 2013.

"At the end it got scary," Kuchar added. "I was hoping Kevin's ball wouldn't go in for a two at the end! He played some great golf and made a great run at the end."

With Chappell and Stanley scrapping for second, the English duo of Brian Davis and Justin Rose both claimed top tens after rounds of 70 and 73 respectively. They were joined at four-under for the tournament by first round leader Charl Schwartzel.

Other big names did not fare so well, however - with defending champion Tiger Woods shooting 72 (despite a triple-bogey) to finish tied for 68th at eight-over for the tournament. The world No. 1 was beaten by Rory McIlroy by two shots, as the Northern Irishman matched Woods' Sunday score.

Luke Donald, meanwhile, finished just outside the top-20 after a concluding 70, two shots behind Masters champion Adam Scott.

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