Kuchar wins Heritage with dramatic final birdie
Hilton Head: Matt Kuchar holed out from a bunker at the final hole on Sunday to win the US PGA Tour`s Heritage and hand Luke Donald another Harbour Town disappointment.
"I told my caddie before that last shot, `I`m about due to make one of these,`" said Kuchar, who started the day four shots off Donald`s 54-hole lead and fired a seven-under par 64 for an 11-under total of 273.
England`s Donald carded a two-under 69 for 274. The former world number one now has five top-three finishes in this $5.8 million tournament in the past six years -- but no victories.
Americans Ben Martin and John Huh shared third place on 275. Martin closed with a 67 and Huh -- who was lying second, two strokes behind Donald, going into the round -- posted a final-round 68.
It was a further two shots back to Americans Scott Brown and Brian Stuard.
Kuchar was playing four groups ahead of Donald, but after the American`s dramatic finish gave him a one-stroke lead the Englishman was unable to find a birdie in his remaining three holes.
At sixth in the world, Kuchar was the highest-ranked player in the field.
He claimed the seventh US PGA Tour title of his career and his first of the season, although he`d been knocking on the door in recent weeks with a tie for fourth at the Texas Open, a playoff loss to Aussie Matt Jones at the Houston Open and a tie for fifth last week at the Masters.
Things didn`t look so promising, however, after Kuchar three-putted for bogey from inside five feet on the par-three 17th.
That had dropped him into a tie with Donald, after Kuchar had grabbed the lead with seven birdies in his first 10 holes.
"It was just pretty disappointing. It felt like a two-shot swing," Kuchar said.
He was less disappointed to find himself in the bunker at 18.
"I knew it was a pretty easy up and down," he said, although it turned out to be even better. "It was so cool to see that thing disappear at the end."
Donald`s front nine included a double-bogey six at the par-four sixth, but he countered that with three birdies on the front nine to keep himself in the hunt.
Donald followed a bogey at 10 with back-to-back birdies, but couldn`t find another birdie the rest of the way.
He had birdied the 17th in each of the first three rounds, but left himself a 28-foot putt and didn`t make it.
At 18, his own chip slipped past the cup.
"I hit a lot of solid shots, a lot to build off and I`m excited about some of the changes I`ve been making," Donald said.
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