Rise to the PGA Tour
Energised, he quit his job, turned pro and set his sights on the PGA Tour. He muscled his way onto the circuit in 2001 and, the following year, won his first title at the Honda Classic. However, he managed just six top tens in the next four seasons and, after missing 12 cuts in 21 events in 2005, he lost his card. Back to the bank? Nope. He rededicated himself to golf and secured an immediate return to the PGA Tour after finishing tenth on the Nationwide Tour money list in 2006.
He finished 115th on the PGA Tour in 2007 to retain his card. The following season, he finished 35 spots higher. But it was in 2009 that his career was really reborn. He held off Vaughn Taylor in a play-off at the Turning Stone Resort Championship to win his second PGA Tour title.
He pipped Martin Laird to The Barclays the following year en route to securing the Vardon Trophy and Byron Nelson Award for the lowest scoring average on the PGA Tour, as well as the Arnold Palmer Award for leading the money list.
It’s been an upward trajectory since then. Victory in the Players Championship, a WGC-Matchplay triumph, more than 40 weeks inside the top ten on the world rankings, a career high ranking of fifth, Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup appearances, over $30m in earnings on the PGA Tour, top ten finishes in all four of the majors - just a selection of the many things that Kuchar has achieved in his career up to now.
No wonder he’s always smiling.