Kuchar pulls away for 4-shot Sony Open win

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Kuchar's challenge appeared to be unraveling when a poor drive led to a bogey at the second and, after he clawed the shot back at the next, he three-putted from 50 feet on the fourth green and then failed to get up-and-down from a greenside bunker at the fifth.

However, Putnam handed back the initiative with a scrappy dropped shot at 14, and Kuchar seized his chance to open up a commanding lead when he holed back-to-back birdie putts from 12 feet at 15 and 16.

Matt Kuchar overcame three early bogeys that cost him the lead with flawless golf and two key birdies on the back nine to close with a 4-under 66 and win the Sony Open for his second PGA Tour title this season.

He finished at 22-under 258, the third-lowest total in Waialae history behind the PGA Tour record of 253 by Justin Thomas in 2017 and Jimmy Walker's 72-hole score of 257 when he won in 2015.

Chez Reavie, boosted by three eagles on par-four holes, something nobody had done on the PGA Tour since it began tracking such statistics in 1983, shot 65 to join Stewart Cink (62) on 10-under.

Kuchar was in trouble early with bogeys on three of his first five holes. Those were the only players within five shots of the lead, and all of them are chasing Kuchar. He went long of the second green, leading to bogey. He won the Match Play Championship and the Memorial in 2013. "But I kept plugging along, and I knew good things were going to happen". But he had a good session with his swing coach in Dallas, and it paid off two weeks later on the Gulf side of the Mexican coast.

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"I'm feeling a little let down right now", Putnam said after closing with a 68. But, Kuchar closed out the front nine with two birdies in the pair's last three holes.

Putnam, who won for the first time a year ago in the Barracuda Championship held opposite a World Golf Championship, did his best to stay in reach.

He tied third with Americans Hudson Swafford (64) and Chez Reavie (67) and Canadian Corey Conners (64). "I look forward to the rest of the year to try and continue to see how great this year can be".

Lahiri, who is playing his first event of 2019, is now four-under 136. "They may always be there, but you get more comfortable with it".

DIVOTS: Gary Woodland, who didn't shoot worse than 68 last week and still had to settle for runner-up at Kapalua, was among 10 players who missed the 54-hole cut because more than 78 players made it to the weekend. But, his standing atop the leaderboard was threatened by one-time victor Andrew Putnam.