Kuchar closes strong for second win of season at Sony Open

Kuchar closes strong for second win of season at Sony Open

Kuchar has made only one bogey through 54 holes at Waialae Country Club, and his 18-under 192 was the lowest 54-hole score of his career.

Fellow American Kuchar fell back to second at 17-under with three bogeys and two birdies after nine holes.

"To shoot 7 under back-to-back is unexpected, but awfully excited", Kuchar said with the same smile he wears for most any occasion. If I keep plugging along, I knew good things would happen.

"I anticipate needing another good round tomorrow", he said.

But Kuchar edged back in front when he pitched to three feet to set up a birdie at 10 before holing from 10 feet at the 12th, although Putnam then regained a share of the lead with a clutch 20-foot putt for birdie at the 13th.

Kuchar ended a three-year drought by winning the Mayakoba Classic in Mexico last fall. He finished strong with two more birdies in his final three holes to remain in contention as he carded a 4-under 66.

Putnam, who won his first PGA Tour title last summer at the Barracuda Championship, didn't blink until that approach into the bunker that led to his lone bogey, and he couldn't make enough putts to stay close to Kuchar the rest of the way. His best season to date probably came in 2013 when he won the Memorial and the WGC-Match Play Championship en route to $5.6 million in earnings.

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Putnam closed with a 68 and moved into the top 50 for the first time in his career.

It was only the second time Kuchar has won twice in the same season. He holed out for eagle three times from the fairway - a sand wedge from 101 yards on No. 10 at the start of his round; a 9-iron from 149 yards on No. 16, and a gap wedge from 135 yards on No. 6. "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". Along with his runner-up finish in the Sanderson Farms Championship last fall, he has almost as many FedEx Cup points as previous year when he finished at No. 130.

"I'm just going to stay aggressive".

Canada's Corey Connors made it a four-way tie for third as he also signed off with a 64, while 54-year-old veteran Davis Love III hit back from an early mistake with six birdies in a commendable 65 that saw him finish in outright seventh.

Spieth had a 66 and missed the cut by just one shot.

American Kuchar - who is chasing his first win since November - remains in control following his four-under-par 66 at Wai'alae Country Club in Honolulu. But, his standing atop the leaderboard was threatened by one-time victor Andrew Putnam.

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