By Alex Myers
Thankfully, a rich PGA Tour star not getting to keep a shiny new car is the height of a first-world problem. But what happened to Matt Kuchar at the WGC-HSBC Champions on Saturday still falls under the category of highway robbery.
Kuchar made a hole-in-one on the par-3 17th in the third round, just a few feet away from a Cadillac that’s on display as a prize for such a shot. So why is the car staying in Shanhai and not being shipped to Kuchar’s driveway? Because of some fine print.
Apparently, the shot had to be at least 200 yards for any player to win the vehicle. And on Saturday, with the tee moved up because of course conditions, the hole was only playing 193 yards. What a dagger. Here’s the rule that was posted before the start of the round:
As you can see, the problem is in the hole-in-one insurance that was established before the tournament. But really? A 193-yard ace is no good? That’s rough.
Kuchar shot 68 and is tied for eighth place through three rounds at nine under. Hideki Matsuyama is 17 under and has a three-shot lead over defending champ Russell Knox.
The AP’s Doug Ferguson talked to Kuchar and his caddie, John Wood, after. Although the pair was disappointed, at least the odd situation didn’t totally catch them by surprise.
"Don’t worry about a hole-in-one today," Wood joked with Kuchar before he hit his shot. "We don’t get the car."
But still. . .
"I was teased by this beautiful car sitting there that’s not to be mine," Kuchar said.
Yep, you got robbed, Kuch. But something tells us you’ll be OK.