Golf: Kuchar rewarded for consistency

American nice guy Matt Kuchar playfully told the media to "suck it" after clinching the US PGA Players Championship and its $2.2 million winner's cheque yesterday.

Often touted as a walking ATM for his ability to finish near the top of the leaderboard, the 33-year-old had faced heat for not winning since 2010.

Before this win, he had cashed $7 million since his last win at the 2010 Barclays through numerous top 10s but wasn't hoisting trophies.

When this was put to him shortly after shooting a two-under 70 to finish at 13-under at TPC Sawgrass - two shots clear of Scotland's Martin Laird (67) and Americans Rickie Fowler (70), Zach Johnson (68) and Ben Curtis (68) - Kuchar pounced.

"Yeah, you can suck it," he said yesterday, while celebrating his fourth and biggest US PGA Tour victory.

"To come out as the champion is just an amazing feeling. You think of this as one of the strongest fields in golf. One of the things that strikes me is walking every day through the champion's tunnel.

"I can't help but stop and gaze at all the photos going through and to think I'm going to be a part of that with Jack Nicklaus and Lee Trevino and Raymond Floyd and Phil Mickelson and Greg Norman and David Duval and Tiger Woods, it's all the best of the best."

Having rebuilt his swing to a flatter plane in recent years, Kuchar will rocket up to No 5 in the world rankings and was making no apologies for being Mr Consistent.

Along with the huge money prize he earns a five-year exemption on the tour, so he's likely to be cashing big cheques for quite some time.

"I'm really happy with the way my golf career has gone," he said.

"I've played some great, consistent golf.

"I never wanted to be the guy that won once a year and missed 10 cuts a year.

"I wanted to be the guy with just a consistent game. I'd like to show up, be playing good and have a chance to win tournaments."

Australia's 2012 winless drought continued with Geoff Ogilvy and Adam Scott the pick of the bunch, seven and eight shots back, tied for 12th and 15th respectively.

Both showed glimpses of brilliance throughout the four days only to struggle at times on the greens.

Of the 72 players who made the cut, Ogilvy ranked 56th and Scott 60th in putting. "I played pretty well all week but I must have been last on the putting stats yesterday," Ogilvy said.

"I was much better today and holed a couple of bombs which is what you need to do sometimes to get a chance.

"But this is a stepping stone I guess. I'm hitting the ball really well; I just need to make more putts."

"If I hit it like I have the last three weeks I can contend in any golf tournament and win, I just have to get the ball in the hole better."

- AAP

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