Poor driving costs Kuchar and Fowler at Masters

Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:24pm EDT
 
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - Sub-par driving during a pressure-packed final round at the Masters undermined the respective title bids made by Americans Matt Kuchar and Rickie Fowler at Augusta National on Sunday.

Georgia native Kuchar lacked the sharpness off the tee he had so impressively delivered in the previous round and his challenge for a maiden major victory ended as he carded a two-over-par 74 to tie for fifth place.

Fowler, also hunting his first grand slam crown, finished level with Kuchar at two under after hitting only four of 14 fairways on the way to a closing 73.

"The driver was not near as sharp today," Kuchar told reporters, having briefly moved into a tie for the lead with birdies at the second and third before his challenge unraveled.

"I hit what I thought were a couple of decent drives. At nine, I thought it was a decent drive, caught some trees. On 18, the same thing. On 11, I missed the fairway.

"It seemed to miss the fairway just by little bits here and there. My driving was not nearly as sharp as it was yesterday and hard to play really good golf out here if you're not playing from the fairway."

Kuchar, who won two big events on the PGA Tour last year, including his first World Golf Championship (WGC) crown, never got back into contention after four-putting to double-bogey the par-three fourth.

"It was a setback, but it wasn't too much to overcome. It put me back to even par after three or four holes. It's not the worst thing to be even par through four.   Continued...

 
U.S. golfer Matt Kuchar hits his tee shot on the fourth hole during the final round of the Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia April 13, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Blake