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By Matt McCoy
Matt Kuchar has flirted with winning the Memorial before. His last four finishes before this year were ties for 10th, 8th, 5th and 2nd. He broke through this time around, winning the 38th Memorial Tournament by two shots.
Kuchar finished at 12-under par, two shots better than Kevin Chappell. For Kuchar, it's his second win on the PGA tour this year, joining Tiger Woods as this season's only multiple winners.
"Man this feels good," Kuchar said. "This tournament is truely special to me. To see the champions who have won here and now to put my name on that list of champions and to put my name anywhere in association with Mr. (Jack) Nicklaus, it's his tournmament, it is such a great honor."
Kuchar finished in style with a 20-foot birdie putt on 18. His weekend scorecard reads like a palindrome...68-70-70-68.
"We're very happy to have Matt as the winner," Nicklaus said. "Kooch has been a good player and has played very well for a lot of year...we're delighted that he's our champion."
Kuchar's win jumped him five spots to number four in this week's World Golf Rankings.
To listen to Kuchar's post-tournament press conference click HERE:
Frustrating weekend for Woods
As good as the weekend was for Kuchar, it was that bad for five-time Memorial champion Tiger Woods, who finshed 8-over par and tied for 65th. His four day total of 296 is the second worst stroke total in his career, at a 72-hole event.
The par three 12th hole was a particular nightmare. Woods parred it in Thursday's first round, then went bogey, double bogey, triple bogey the next three days.
"It's just one of those weeks...it happens," Woods said. "I obviously didn't putt well. I had some funky stances. It just happened to be one of those weeks."
To listen to Woods post-tournament comments click HERE
Rory struggles as well
Despite his struggles at Memorial, Woods, with four wins this year, remains first in the World Golf Rankings and Rory McIlroy remains number two. McIlroy also struggled, finishing in a tie for 57th at 6-over par.
Following the tournament, McIlroy wasn't nearly as distrubed as he was after Thursday's first round when he shot a 6-over par 78. He recovered to shoot a 69 in round two and make the cut.
"I found a couple little things this weekend," McIlroy said of his game. "I hit the ball much better and actually putted a little better too. (My game) isn't that far away."
To listen to McIlroy, following the Memorial, click HERE
By Matt McCoy
Charl Schwartzel posted a 7-under par 65 and leads the Memorial by a shot over Scott Piercy headed to day two. Schwartzel hasn't won on tour since putting on the green jacket at the 2011 Masters. His opening round included 10 birdies, one bogey and a double-bogey five, on the par three 8th hole.
"In my history, I've been know to make quite a lot of birdies in a row," Schwartzel said. "Once you get it going, you seem to see the lines better on the greens and you make a few more putts."
To listen to Schwartzel's first round comments click HERE:
Tiger grinds out a 71
With the wind and the heat picking up in the afternoon, Five time Memorial winner and defending champion Tiger Woods shot a 1-under par 71. Woods said his round could have been better but he failed to capitalize on several birdie opportunities.
"I thought I hit good putts but I misread a couple pretty badly," Woods said. "It was not very good."
To listen to Woods post-round comments click HERE
Freddy turns back the clock
Playing in a group with Tiger Woods and Keegan Bradley, 53-year old Fred Couples out scored his younger playing partners, shooting a 2-under par 70. Couples, an off the course friend of Woods, admitted he was a little nervous about the pairing.
"To be honest, I sent him a text and said 'Do you really want me in this group...I've played golf but I did beat him," Couples said with a laugh. "It was just fun."
To listen to Couples post-round comments click HERE:
The Kid Shoots Par
14-year old Guan Tianlang continues to impress. The Asian ametuer champion, playing in his first Memorial thanks to a sponsor's exemption, shot an even par 72. "Langly" is hoping to make the cut, as he did at the Masters and the Zurich Classic in New Orleans.
"After the Masters and a couple of PGA tour events, I've gotten more and more comfortable and it's helped a lot," Guan said. "I feel like I'm hitting it pretty good."
To listen to Guan's post-round comments click HERE
By Matt McCoy
The relationship between two greatest players in the history of the game is just fine. So says Jack Nicklaus who took time during his media session at the Memorial Tournament Wednesday to set the record straight.
At a press conference before the Masters Nicklaus said he was asked how much he and Tiger talk about Jack's record of 18 major championships. From there, Jack says, an inaccurate story was born.
"There was an article in the New York Times from the Masters saying that Tiger doesn't talk to me," Nicklaus said Wednesday. "I was asked the question how much does Tiger talk to me about (the record), and I said we haven't had more than a minute or two conversation about that ever. The article comes out 'Tiger doesn't talk to Jack and they've never had more than a minute or two conversation.' Well I talk to Tiger a lot...but not about that subject."
Woods chase of the Nicklaus record has been on hold for five years now. His last major championship, number 14, came at the 2008 U.S. Open. But in 2013, Tiger has resurfaced as the game's most dominant player. He's back to number one in the world and has won four times already. Having won the Memorial five times, including last year, Tiger comes in as the obvious favorite.
"In my career, I generally have played (Nicklaus') courses well," Woods said. "I've won on quite a few, whether it was junior golf, college and now professional golf. I just feel comfortable on his golf courses. There's ample room off the tees, the greens are really severe and if you miss a green it'll test your short game. Those are things I think I do well."
Woods met with the media for the first time since his flap with Sergio Garcia took over the headlines with Garcia's racially insensitive 'fried chicken' comment. Tiger said Garcia did apologize but hasn't done it face-to-face yet. Woods also talked about the U.S. Open, the Memorial and more. To listen to his session with reporters click HERE:
Jack talked at length on a variety of subjects as well, including the Woods/Garcia flap calling it 'stupid.' Jack thinks the tiff has been overblown by the media. He also touched on the new clubhouse at Muirfield, Tiger's dominance, and the fragile state of the game of golf. To listen click HERE:
Tiger is the obvious favorite...so we'll take him off the table and out of the equation. Who else can win? Here's what we think:
610 WTVN golf analyst Ray Hustek is covering his 24th Memorial. He's going with Matt Kuchar. Ray's 'other contenders' are Webb Simpson, Zach Johnson and Adam Scott. Kevin Streelman is Ray's dark horse pick.
610 WTVN morning show host Joel Riley's non-Tiger pick is veteran Fred Couples. His other contenders are K.J. Choi, Keegan Bradley and Bill Haas, with Billy Horschel, his dark horse.
I hate to be boring, but my non-Tiger pick is the guy ranked number two in the world, Rory McIlroy. My other contenders are Brandt Snedeker, Justin Rose and Rickie Fowler, with Jonathan Byrd, my dark horse. We'll see if any of our picks actually pan out.
By Matt McCoy
The 38th Memorial Tournament tees off Thursday at Muirfield Village. 2010 runner-up Rickie Fowler, and former world number one Lee Westwood met with the media Tuesday. I also spoke with 610 WTVN golf analyst Ray Hustek and got his take on this year's event.
Here's the audio and some of the highlights.
To listen to Rickie Fowler talk with reporters click HERE:
Fowler has played in the Memorial three times and has fared well, finishing second in 2010, 22nd in 2011 and last year he was in contention, but shot an 84 when paired with Tiger Woods in the final round.
"I really enjoy playing here," Fowler said. "For some reason I enjoy a lot of Jack (Nicklaus') courses. I'm not sure what it is but I've definitely made a lot of putts here."
To listen to Lee Westwood talk with reporters click HERE:
Westwood, formerly the number one player in the world, is at the Memorial for only the second time. His only other appearance was in 2003. He's playing more PGA tour events than in the past and is looking forward to the week.
"I'm playing pretty consistantly. I have four top 10's on the PGA tour and a top 10 in Europe last week," Westwood said of his game. "Hopefully I'll keep playing as I am and maybe if I get in contention, finish it off."
Our own Mr. Golf Ray Hustek, is covering his 24th Memorial Tournament for WTVN. To hear his thoughts on this year's event and his favorites, click HERE
Five time winner Tiger Woods is the obvious favorite, but if you're looking for a dark horse, Ray has one.
"Kevin Streelman, in the last seven events has a first, a second and a third," Ray said. "We always see kind of an unknown who pops up on the leaderboard Thursday and Friday and wonder 'can they hang on and win.' This is the kind of guy with a game that can hang on and win here."