Take a Lesson from Matt Kuchar
Watching the PGA Tour today, The Valero Texas Open, Matt Kuchar made a mistake we can all learn from. You get greedy dreaming of that perfect shot you’re going to pull off to save the day. I remember Chick Herbert telling me; “Lopez, never put yourself in a position to have to hit a great shot.”
Matt Kuchar on number 14 a par 5, was not in a position to have to hit a great shot and tried to do one anyway! It cost him a possible opportunity to win the tournament. He was two shots back at the time with still five holes to play. Patients my man, patients!
His tee shot was in the left rough. You have a par five with a large bunker on the right with the flagstick on the right side of the green. More importantly it looks like the fairway tilted toward the right causing the ball to bounce toward the bunker and increasing the chances of the ball rolling into it.
If I were his caddy, I would have insisted that he hit an iron for his second shot and leave the ball about 100 yards short of the green. Matt Kuchar is good at that 70 – 100 yard shot and it would guarantee a par with a possibility of birdie. Greed got the best of Matt Kuchar and he chose a golf club that he thought he could reach the green with and instead, hit the ball in the bunker. He caught the bunker shot a little heavy leaving it short and fanned it three times from there for a bogey.
The entire fiasco of events started with the second shot. None of the rest would have happened, had he left the ball short of the green in the middle of the fairway with an easy wedge shot in his hands. You might consider that the problem happened when his tee shot was in the rough, but I would still insist that it was the second shot that was miscalculated.
After making bogey he was done from there. Now had this been the last hole and he’s one shot behind etc. etc. etc. maybe taking the chance was worth the risk.
Learn from Matt Kuchar’s mistake and consider playing safe, especially early in the round. Don’t be tempted to gamble it all on one shot that might eventually cost you several more strokes.