Matt Kuchar joins Tiger Woods in WGC-Dell Match Play history
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Oldest player in field equals Woods’ record 36 match victories
Written by Kevin Robbins @kdanielrobbins
AUSTIN, Texas — It took 12 holes for Matt Kuchar to meet PGA TOUR history. Now he has a chance to make it.
With his convincing 7-and-6 win Friday over Si Woo Kim, Kuchar won his 36th match at the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play, tying Tiger Woods for most wins since the event was established in 1999. Kuchar, 2-0-1 this week at Austin Country Club, improved his career record to 36-11-5 at the only match-play competition on TOUR.
The oldest player in the field at 44, the nine-time winner on TOUR never trailed on a morning in Central Texas that began with a lazy mist and ended in the brightest sun. He went 1-up on the second hole, won five straight holes starting at the fourth and beat Kim on the par-5 12th, where both made birdie. Kuchar also shares second all-time in most matches played, with 52.
Matt Kuchar converts tee shot to 7-feet at WGC-Dell Match Play
“There's 300 more records, I'm sure, to go,” Kuchar said, “but it's a fun one to be able to say you've kind of got something you tied Tiger with.”
Kuchar played his first WGC-Dell Match Play in 2010. He beat Anthony Kim in the first round and lost to Jeev Milkha Singh in the second.
A year later, he lost to Bubba Watson in the consolation match. Kuchar won the event in 2013. His best finish at Austin Country Club, the host venue since 2016, came in 2019, when he lost to Kevin Kisner in the championship match, 3 and 2. He beat Victor Perez last year in the consolation match.
“It's a good go,” Kuchar said. “Certainly been doing it for a long time and doing it well for a long time to be able to have that many wins, to have the same as Tiger in match-play record. It's a nice kind of feather in the cap to think about, yeah, it's been good golf for a long time.”
The WGC-Dell Match Play will cease to exist after the final putt is holed Sunday. Kuchar said he will miss it.
“Match play, I certainly love, as you would guess with a good record,” he said. “(It’s) something unique, something different to do. Yeah, I'm bummed this is the final year for it.”
The No. 59 seed this week, Kuchar could become the second-lowest seed in history to win. That distinction goes to Kevin Sutherland, the No. 62 seed in 2002.
He first has to get there. That means four more matches — and four more wins.
“It takes skill to win matches, and it also takes luck, and I've been a part of both of those,” Kuchar said.
“This format's been great for me,” he added. “But I know very well tomorrow I could go out and play great golf and get beat tomorrow.”