The top name in the Australian Open, America’s Matt Kuchar, reported that it was the Australian wind, not the long flight that did him in for the 2018 Australian Open.
Kuchar was born in Florida, a place that has a healthy reputation for wind during Atlantic hurricane season, so he was not making any excuses, simply pointing out that he failed to make the proper adaptations.
It was windy for everyone, something Kuchar would readily admit, but he mentioned the difficulty of making the right club selection.
“One guy in our group would go over the green, another one of us would come up short. It was a struggle for us,” he told reporters.
Winner Abraham Ancer made the right adaptations.
I grew up in the wind. Where I went to college was windy as well. I’m not scared of the wind, I feel like it’s an advantage if it’s windy for me. I just embrace it. I know it’s going to be tough but I just try to hit some shots and make it work.”
Ancer shot three 69s and a third round 65, ran away, and hid from any pursuers and win by five shots.
Australia’s Cameron Smith moved up to finish tied 10th with a final round 66, so the wind must have been blowing the right way for him.
Another Cameron, defending champion Cameron Davis, did not fare as well, closing with a final round 75, although his chances of a repeat were blown away early in the first round.
Abraham Ancer might find some motivation for the year coming, as Jordan Spieth and Rory McIllroy both won Majors the following year, and the win in Australia earns him a British Open invitation.
“I feel like this will give me some confidence for sure. I feel like I’m been playing really good golf the last seven months but just haven’t been able to win a tournament,” Ancer said.“But I feel like my game is there and hopefully it will help my career like it did for Spieth and McIlroy when they came to this event.”