Matt Kuchar shoots 7-under 64 to take Phoenix Open lead
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) Matt Kuchar eagled the par-5 13th and added two late birdies and a big par save on the rowdy par-3 16th hole Thursday to take the first-round lead in the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Kuchar shot a 7-under 64 in perfect afternoon conditions at TPC Scottsdale for a one-stroke lead over defending champion Hideki Matsuyama and Brendan Steele. The crowd was estimated at 103,420 on the fan-friendly stadium layout.
Kuchar made a 20-foot eagle putt on the 13th, and ran in a 6-footer for birdie on the par-5 15th. He got up-and-down for par from the left bunker on the triple-deck stadium 16th, making a 12-foot putt, and chipped to inches from the front fringe on the short par-4 17th to set up his final birdie in the bogey-free round.
Matsuyama had a bogey-free round in the morning. Last year, he beat Rickie Fowler in a playoff.