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MailTribune.com
  • Kuchar takes lead at Houston Open

  • HUMBLE, Texas — Matt Kuchar didn't have the result he had hoped for while playing in the final pairing at last week's Texas Open.
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  • HUMBLE, Texas — Matt Kuchar didn't have the result he had hoped for while playing in the final pairing at last week's Texas Open.
    The six-time PGA Tour winner, who closed with a final-round 75 on his way to a fourth-place finish last week, will have the opportunity to show what he learned from that disappointing finish at this week's Houston Open.
    Playing in the final pairing, Kuchar vaulted past a struggling Sergio Garcia with a 4-under par 68 on Saturday — overcoming windy conditions at the Golf Club of Houston to match the low round of the day and take a four-shot lead after three rounds.
    Kuchar stands at 15 under overall heading into today's final round, four shots ahead of second-round leader Garcia and Cameron Tringale. The three will be paired together today.
    "It's a nice position to have played well last week, to have been in the last group with a chance to win and again to come back this week, completely different course, and have another shot to win," Kuchar said.
    Kuchar's last win came at the Memorial last year, and he has eight top 10 finishes this season in 10 events.
    He'll have the opportunity add to that resume today, weather permitting, as well as fuel his surging confidence leading into next week's Masters, where he finished in a tie for eighth last year.
    The prospect of a winner's share of nearly $1.2-million, however, has Kuchar locked in on this weekend first — even with the prospect of competing for his first major championship looming next week.
    "I've been playing some steady golf for a couple of years now and feel like my chances of playing well tomorrow are pretty good," Kuchar said. "Having a four-shot lead is a great position to be in."
    Kraft Nabisco Championship
    At Rancho Mirage, Calif., Michelle Wie shot a bogey-free 4-under 68 to match the Lexi Thompson at 10-under 206 at the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
    Thompson, already a three-time winner on the tour, settled for a 69 after missing a 3-foot par putt on the par-5 18th. She also missed two short birdie putts on the front nine.
    Charley Hull, the Englishwoman who turned 18 last month, was two strokes back along with five-time major champion Se Ri Pak. Hull birdied the 18th for a 66, the best round of the day. Pak shot 71.
    Wie is making her 12th start in the tournament. She was ninth in 2003 at age 13, fourth the following year and tied for third at 16 in 2006. She also was sixth in 2011.
    Wie has two victories, winning the 2009 Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Mexico and the 2010 Canadian Women's Open.
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