SOLIDARIDAD, Mexico — On the caddie front, Matt Kuchar’s group had an unconventional Thursday. Zach Johnson’s caddie Damon Green stepped out after the front nine due to problems with the heat. He was replaced by Kuchar’s wife, Sybi. Meanwhile, Matt Kuchar had an unusual caddie of his own: David, a local caddie employed by the club.
Kuchar’s caddie John Wood, a mainstay on Tour, had made other plans for the week, and Kuchar committed to the event at the eleventh hour. That left him searching for a local looper, and the tournament paired him with a top Mayakoba caddie.
“I committed a bit last minute here and he had a bit of a reunion going on so I was able to grab a local, and he’s been good,” Kuchar said.
Everything was good for the newly-united pair on Thursday. On a calm morning with near-perfect scoring conditions, Kuchar’s game was nearly flawless. He started on No. 10 and birdied three holes on that nine before making the turn and adding four more on his way home. The bogey-free effort added up to a seven-under 64, tied with Kramer Hickok for low round of the day. Kuchar credited a simple approach as his — and Johnson’s — keys to strong finishes despite unconventional caddies.
“It’s funny how when you just have a friendly face around and just go back to playing golf and not worrying so much about making golf too complicated, some good things happen,” he said.
The relaxed atmosphere around the Mayakoba Resort is agreeing well with the entire Kuchar family, too. “It’s been a little bit of a working vacation,” Kuchar said, citing some down time with his family staying and playing at the resort. “But I had a good time at the office today as well.”
David is no stranger to competitive success at Mayakoba: just weeks ago, he caddied for Mexican pro Armando Favela in a qualifier at El Camaleon. Favela shot two under in the October 27-hole qualifier to get into a sudden-death playoff, which he went on to win. In the process, he earned a spot in the event, and on Thursday, Favela shot an impressive four-under 67. David was on the right bag, however — Kuchar was still three shots better.