AUSTRALIA’S Matt Jones has had his best finish on the US PGA Tour this year, finishing tied for sixth behind a victorious Matt Kuchar at the 2013 Memorial Tournament in Ohio.
Jones, buoyed by a five-birdie 3-under 69 in the first round on the tough Muirfield Village course, closed with an even par 72 to end the event on 5-under.
Kuchar capped a 4-under-par 68 with a birdie at the final hole to win the event on 12-under, two strokes ahead of fellow American golfer Kevin Chappell (68) with Kyle Stanley (71) alone in third place.
“This is such an amazing feeling. This never gets old,” said Kuchar, who won for the sixth time in his career and for the second time this year (the only other multiple winner besides Tiger Woods). “To have [Tournament host] Jack Nicklaus congratulate me is a real treat. This is as special as it gets.”
Adam Scott, in likely his last tournament hit out before the US Open next week, will be probably be overall pleased to have finished as the next best Aussie.
Scott closed with a 1-over 73 to end on 3-under tied for 13th.
Tournament heavyweights Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy were likely not so pleased with their last pre-US Open performances, despite making soothing noises.
Woods came into the Memorial having won three times in his last four starts and left with the second-highest score of his career at 8-over. The world number one had two triple bogeys in the same tournament for the first time since 1997.
”It happens. It happens to us all,” Woods said. ”Go home next week and practice.”
He finished tied for 65th, only beating home six golfers who made the cut.
McIlroy didn’t do much better, opening with a 78 but fighting back to make the cut and close with was in an even par round. At a closing 6-over he was 18 strokes behind Kuchar tied for 57th.
“I found a couple of little things this weekend,” McIlroy said. “I hit the ball much better today. I actually putted a little better, too … It’s not that far away.”