Kuchar starts Hawaii vacation with a victory

Kuchar is chasing his second win of the season

Kuchar overcame his sloppy start with flawless golf the rest of the way - he putted for birdie on the last 13 holes - and pulled away with a critical three-hole stretch at Waialae for a 4-under 66 to become the first multiple victor on the PGA Tour this season.

Kuchar is one shot clear of Putnam, who fired a five-under 65 and four strokes ahead of Stewart Cink and Chez Reavie, who shot 62 and 65 respectively in the Tour's first full-field event of 2019.

So odd was this round that Reavie made more eagles than birdies, and the one shot that made him think the ball might go in the hole led to a par.

Kuchar maintained his lead through the back nine as Putnam began to trail by more with a bogey on the par-4 16th.

Putnam, who played college golf at Pepperdine and claimed his first PGA Tour victory a year ago in the Barracuda Championship, capped his 67 with an eight-foot birdie putt on the last hole.

"Kuch is playing well, so I feel like I've got to get out there and make some birdies if it's not too windy", Putnam said.

"I was pretty frustrated", Kuchar said.

Kuchar was at 14-under 126, matching the lowest 36-hole score of his PGA Tour career.

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"It was a really good day", said Kuchar, who has won eight times on the PGA Tour.

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. Just needed to make some better swings.

"I'm just going to stay aggressive". He finished top five in both events, and following his win last fall at the CIMB Classic should be considered one of the players best positioned to break into the upper crust of golf as we head toward the heart of the season.

Kuchar carded a four-under-par 66 in the final round to claim his ninth PGA Tour title and 100th top-10 finish.

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. In his 2019 debut, Spieth had a 66 and missed the cut by one shot.

The Australian shot a two-under 68 third round to get to 11-under at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu on Saturday. Kuchar came out weakly, but made the 10-foot birdie putt.

American star Spieth, meanwhile, struggled after opening the tournament with a three-over-par 73.

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