Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Matt Kuchar denies Luke Donald with sensational bunker shot

By Gary Morley, CNN
updated 6:32 PM EDT, Sun April 20, 2014
Matt Kuchar celebrates after holing out from a bunker at the 72nd at Harbour Town in Hilton Head Island.
Matt Kuchar celebrates after holing out from a bunker at the 72nd at Harbour Town in Hilton Head Island.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Matt Kuchar moves up to third place in PGA Tour's FedEx Cup rankings
  • The 35-year-old wins his seventh title on U.S. circuit
  • Overnight leader Luke Donald is second after closing with three pars

Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook

(CNN) -- Up until Sunday, Matt Kuchar had been the PGA Tour's "nearly man" this season.

But the American golfer ended his run of final-round disappointments in spectacular style at the RBC Heritage tournament in South Carolina, holing a bunker shot at the last to clinch a one-shot victory.

The birdie, coming after dropping a shot with a three-putt at the previous hole, earned him the $1 million first prize ahead of former world No. 1 Luke Donald, who finished with three pars.

For Kuchar, it was redemption -- and relief -- after tying fifth at the Masters, losing a playoff in Houston and placing equal fourth in Texas.

Hold still! Golfer tries dangerous shot
Gary Player on the Masters

With three other top-10 finishes this year, the two-time U.S. Ryder Cup player has moved up to sixth in the world rankings.

"I told my caddy before that last shot, 'I'm about due to make one of these,' " said the 35-year-old, who came from four shots behind overnight leader Donald to claim his seventh PGA Tour victory.

He closed with seven-under-par 64 to finish at 11-under 273.

Englishman Donald, who had been two ahead after Saturday's third round, signed for a 69. He has now finished in the top three for five of the last six years at Hilton Head's Harbour Town Golf Links.

Ben Martin (67) and John Huh (68) tied for third on nine under, with fellow Americans Scott Brown and Brian Stuard equal fifth two shots further back.

Read: Lightning can't stop Westwood in Malaysia

Read: Donald takes charge at PGA Tour event

Read: Golfer takes plunge as hornets attack

Read: How many majors can Bubba win?

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:24 AM EDT, Fri August 8, 2014
From Seve's "spine-shivering" moment to Jack Nicklaus' "perfect explosion," David Cannon has captured many of golf's defining images.
updated 9:20 AM EDT, Thu August 7, 2014
They came home as casualties of war -- physically shattered and mentally broken. But golf is proving to be an unlikely salvation for U.S. veterans.
updated 8:31 AM EDT, Tue August 5, 2014
You are the one hitting the shots, but the man standing over your shoulder could hold the key to your golfing destiny.
updated 8:27 AM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
PINEHURST, NC - JUNE 10: Rory McIlroy (R) of Northern Ireland talks with his dad Gerry McIlroy (L) during a practice round prior to the start of the 114th U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, Course No. 2 on June 10, 2014 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
He has been there for all three of his son's major wins, but the latest triumph may well have been the sweetest yet for Rory McIlroy's father.
updated 8:18 AM EDT, Wed July 9, 2014
The next generation of golfers just keeps on getting younger. "They have the confidence to perform against their idols," says one ex-prodigy.
updated 7:59 AM EDT, Tue July 1, 2014
He was Spain's ultimate matador and golf's greatest escape artist.
updated 11:36 AM EDT, Wed June 18, 2014
Rory McIlroy has announced he wants to represent Ireland at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Two-time major champion Rory McIlroy declares he'll represent Ireland at the Rio Olympics, not Great Britain.
updated 10:48 PM EDT, Mon April 28, 2014
Already admired by Annika Sorenstam and with a bucketful of talent, New Zealand's Lydia Ko has the world of golf at her feet.
updated 7:30 AM EDT, Mon April 28, 2014
Mike O'Connor, UK FootGolf
Like footie? Partial to a bit of golf? Then you'll love FootGolf. The sport's growing fan base includes a host of former English Premier League stars.
updated 9:43 AM EDT, Thu April 24, 2014
Golfers at at Barkway Park don't seem to concerned and have been taking pictures and videos of the bird when it appears on the greens and fairways.
A runaway ostrich-like bird hiding near an English golf course has caused quite a stir. Some say it's dangerous, while others are cashing in.
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Tue April 22, 2014
Eagles may be thin on the ground for most golfers at the Bear Trace course at Harrison Bay. But up in the treetops, it's a different matter.
updated 1:54 PM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
When someone tells you to go jump in a lake, sometimes it's best to take their advice. "I've never been so scared," says golfer Pablo Larrazabal.
ADVERTISEMENT