Kuchar extends lead at Sony Open

Kuchar extends lead at Sony Open

The victor of the Mayakoba Classic in Mexico in November, world No.32 Kuchar briefly surrendered the lead to Putnam after three bogeys in his first five holes on Sunday. Needing to birdie the last four holes to qualify for the weekend, he ran off two birdies, missed a 3m birdie putt and then narrowly missed chipping in for eagle.

Putnam took the lead over Kuchar as the two began their third round.

"I knew good things were going to happen".

"It was not at all what I was looking for", Kuchar told Golf Channel of his start. In November, he ended a four-year drought by winning the Mayakoba Classic in Mexico on another course that requires keeping the ball in play off the tee for good chances to score. He opened with a birdie on the par-four first hole and carded another birdie just three holes later.

Lahiri bogeyed the 460-yard par-4 sixth, getting on the green in 2 and three putting, moving him to one-over for the round.

After shooting 67 on Thursday, Leishman fired a six-under-par 64 (131) on Saturday (AEST) to be alongside American Ted Potter, five strokes behind Matt Kuchar, who dazzled with back-to-back 63s for a 14-under-par two-round total of 126.

The only other time Kuchar won twice in the same season was in 2013, when he won the Match Play Championship in Arizona in February and the Memorial in early June.

Putnam, who collected his maiden PGA Tour win at last year's Barracuda Championship, nailed a tricky three-footer for par at the last to clinch outright second on 18 under.

Clearly, the 40-year-old is in a better spot than when he had gone more than three years without winning and was left off the Ryder Cup team for the first time in 10 years.

Kuchar matched the lowest 36-hole score of his PGA Tour career. Putnam briefly held the lead in the final round and finished solo second at 18 under. "I feel like I was trying to win the tournament trying to make the cut, which is not something I want to get used to". "I just couldn't keep up with him".

Australian Marc Leishman had six birdies in a six-under 64 to share third place on 17-under 263 with Canadian Corey Conners and Americans Hudson Swafford and Chez Reavie.

It was a hard day for 11-time PGA Tour champion Spieth, who had four bogeys and just one birdie to be tied for 127th and 12 shots off the pace.

Putnam's birdie at the third and a series of solid pars proved enough to take him into the lead, which he maintained at the turn when he matched Kuchar's birdie at the long ninth.

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