Further Review: Still awaiting Kuchar’s major breakthrough

PINEHURST, N.C. — There is a certain greener pasture down on the Georgia-South Carolina line that is Matt Kuchar's most likely scene of major deliverance. But having waited a decade or so for the former Georgia Tech star to claim his place among the biggest winners in golf, the fans who say "Kooooch" don't really want to limit him to just the Masters.

Any ol’ major will do.

If it happens this week here at the U.S. Open, all the better.

His followers have waited through his precocious years at Tech, they have seen him through marriage and fatherhood and even through the demise of his hairline. Kuchar is 35 now, and officially long overdue for winning his first major. The golf world stands at the 18th green with hands on hips and toes tapping impatiently for him to do this thing already.

Half of the current world’s Top 10-ranked players haven’t yet won a major. Throw out No. 10 Jordan Spieth — the 20 year old is not even ripe yet. Jason Day, 26, has time, if his body doesn’t crumble. That leaves the other three — Henrik Stenson, Kuchar and Sergio Garcia — atop the conversation for Best Player to Never Win a Major.

The Kuchar spin is, naturally, bright and cloudless. “If you haven’t won a major, you sure want to be a part of that conversation. I’m happy I’m a part of that conversation,” he said, employing the logic that it’s better to be considered good enough to win one of these biggies than to be simply ignored.

“Certainly it’s a goal of mine. It’s a goal of everybody’s. It’s been a goal of mine since I started playing the game. So it remains there,” he said.

Kuchar tees off with the roosters Thursday, in a 7:29 a.m. threesome with Stenson and Lee Westwood. In the group just ahead is both Garcia and Day. The USGA has conveniently put them together. Call it the Promise Not Quite Fulfilled Flight.

The U.S. Open has not been terribly Kuchar friendly. This is his 12th Open, and he has but a single top 10 finish to show for it. In the last three he has finished 14th, 27th and 28th. In fact, in his last 10 major appearances, Kuchar’s only top 10 finishes have come at the Masters.

It would seem that Kuchar’s crafty game along with his seemingly unflappable temperament would be a good match for this Pinehurst Open. But we’ve harbored that supposition before, to no good end.

Being Serigo Garcia is not such a horrible fate (worth noting, Kuchar is actually 18 months older than Garcia, the most noted non-major winner). But we have come to expect more of Kuchar.

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