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Shane Bacon

Matt Kuchar keeps inching towards Player of the Year

Shane Bacon
Devil Ball Golf

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Most of us remember Matt Kuchar as that cute amateur kid that chipped in that one time at a Masters and grinned his way around Augusta National like someone just told him Jessica Alba had a crush on him.

A year ago, he had 10 top 25s, a rather impressive number for a middle-of-the-pack golfer on the PGA Tour. The year before that he had eight. In 2007 he had four. This year? The guy has 17, along with 10 top 10s (soon to be 11), and might just sneak away as the second non-major winner of the award since 1996.

And he should. He really, really should. Kuchar, who is leading the BMW Championship after his 7-under 64 on Thursday, snagged his first win this season at the Barclays two weeks ago, and is now ahead of the pack at another marquee event.

Along with all that, he has a second and two thirds, and finished in the top 27 in all four majors.

He is no longer the Georgia Tech golfer that seemed almost fake in the way he was nice to people (and don't take that as a suggestion that he's fake; he is as genuine as they come). He is a machine on the golf course, and has made it his job to finish tournaments near the top of the leaderboard, no matter the type of game he has that certain week.

In 2010 he ranks 14th in greens in regulation, seventh in putting average, and is first in scoring average. He made his first Ryder Cup team with his consistent play, and at this point, looks to be one of the most steady guys Corey Pavin has to throw out there.

In a year where nobody seems to stand out as Player of the Year, Kuchar's ability to play this well all season should be enough of a red flag to get voters to point their pencils his way.

If he wins this week, I feel he is a lock to win the award, but even if he doesn't he should be seriously considered.

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