The Norman Transcript

National Sports

February 15, 2013

Rest serves Kuchar well

LOS ANGELES — Coming off a three-week break, Matt Kuchar might not remember golf feeling this easy.

He opened with three straight birdies, all of the putts inside 3 feet. He finished with back-to-back birdies at Riviera, holing a 25-foot putt on the 18th hole for a 7-under 64 that gave him a one-shot lead over Sergio Garcia on Thursday in the Northern Trust Open.

Garcia, making his PGA Tour debut after two tournaments in the Middle East, finished with two birdies over the last three holes even though he could barely see. Fog dropped in at Riviera over the final two hours after a day of warm sunshine, and Garcia could barely see the landing area in the fairway or the flags on the green.

No matter. He closed with an 8-iron to 6 feet on an elevated green at No. 9 for his seventh birdie.

Brandt Jobe, returning from a serious neck injury last summer, put his experience to use on the course he played more times than he can remember while at UCLA. He ran off four straight birdies late in his round, only to close with a bogey on the 18th to finish at 66.

Conditions have rarely looked this good at Riviera, from the firm grass below the feet and the magnificent, sun-filled sky above them — at least until the last couple of hours.

It felt like a working vacation, and it’s the latter Kuchar knows so well.

After opening with three straight weeks on the PGA Tour, which featured a pair of top 10s, he spent a week in Palm Springs and then took his family to Hawaii for paddle boarding, snorkeling, just about everything where an ocean is involved.

Getting back to golf, he worked with swing coach Chris O’Connell and felt just as good as he did before his break.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • Drivers visit Indiana National Guard before race at Brickyard

    EDINBURGH, Ind. — Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Graham Rahal are used to occasional fireworks when drivers get upset at the track....

    July 25, 2014

  • Nibali wins Stage 18, builds overall lead

    ARGELES-GAZOST, France — As his team hoped, Vincenzo Nibali demonstrated he’s the “boss” of the Tour de France. Just don’t compare him to the last rider to regularly bear that sobriquet at cycling’s greatest race, Lance Armstrong....

    July 25, 2014

  • Sooners use momentum from Sugar Bowl in preparation for 2015 season

    The Associated Press NORMAN, Okla. — Oklahoma got a lot of attention with its upset victory over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl....

    July 25, 2014

  • Yankees edge Texas for sixth victory in seven games

    NEW YORK — Brandon McCarthy and Chase Headley are quickly putting their stamp on a playoff surge for the New York Yankees....

    July 25, 2014

  • Smoke turns corner at Indy

    INDIANAPOLIS — Drivers always say there’s something magical about Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the opportunity for NASCAR to race there opened the door for one of Jeff Gordon’s most treasured victories. It was a race Tony Stewart ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Former great addressed during annual shareholders meeting in G.B.

    GREEN BAY, Wis. — Flush with cash, the Packers have a 112,000 name-long waiting list for season tickets filled with die-hards eager to see a team that figures to be an NFC contender for years to come....

    July 24, 2014

  • Roma tops Liverpool

    BOSTON — Marco Borriello scored in the 90th minute to give Roma a 1-0 victory over Liverpool in a preseason friendly Wednesday night at Fenway Park. There were limited chances until Borriello volleyed in a corner from in front of goal....

    July 24, 2014

  • Marcus Mariota helps Oregon’s PAC-12 title chance in preseason polls

    LOS ANGELES — Although Marcus Mariota knew he would be under a spotlight when he stepped onto the famed Paramount Studios lot Wednesday, the Oregon quarterback is getting quite comfortable in his starring role....

    July 24, 2014

  • Potential buyer group scouts Toronto area

    BUFFALO, N.Y. — A Buffalo Bills prospective ownership group that includes rocker Jon Bon Jovi has conducted a feasibility study into buying the NFL franchise and building a stadium in Toronto, a person close to the situation said....

    July 24, 2014

  • Majka wins 16th stage, Nibali leads

    PLA D’ADET, France — On the last of four Pyrenees ascents, Rafal Majka winked at a French TV camera and tugged playfully at a motorcycle’s antenna....

    July 24, 2014