A breeze for Kuchar in Heritage
Matt Kuchar carded a 5-under-par 66 in round one of the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town to lie just two shots back of early pacesetter Rory Sabbatini in a four-way tie for second.
The 39-year-old won this tournament four years ago, hasn't finished outside the top 12 since, and is now on track to contend for the title at the weekend.
"I got off to a great start," he said. "I had a tap-in birdie on the first hole, the 10th. I hit two great shots into No. 11, made an eight foot for birdie and 2-under through two was great.
"I let a shot go on the 17th, but had a wonderful second nine. The greens here are mostly flat. If you get on them you feel like you've got a chance to make birdie."
Kuchar duly made four of them in his final seven holes of the day to complete his 66, tying his career-best first round score at the Hilton Head course. The previous occasion he posted that score was when winning in 2014.
Unsurprisingly, given his history at the venue, he's very fond of it.
"This is one of my favourite events all year on the PGA Tour," he enthused. "I love coming here. I stay with good friends from Atlanta. I think the golf course is one of the best courses we play during the year. It's an event every year that I circle on the calendar."
As every year the track's key defence is the blustery wind, but it's a factor Kuchar enjoys battling.
"It's funny," he explained. "You stand in certain pockets and it feels like there's no breeze at all. And then you get elsewhere on the course and you go I'm not sure really what's happening right now.
"It is a tricky course to figure out the wind and the different little pockets, because not often are you playing above the tree line here, seems like you're always playing underneath the tree line. What the wind does down the tunnels is sometimes hard to figure out."
Kuchar is 1000/1 to win the tournament outright with Sabbatini 1000/1, while Kuchar is 11/8 to win his second round three-ball against defending champion Wes Bryan and world number one Dustin Johnson.
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