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How a typhoon and a visa issue have Matt Kuchar's season off to a slow start

October 25, 2017

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Matt Kuchar will tee it up at this week's WGC-HSBC Champions. And barring any other unforeseen natural disasters or international relations problems, he should actually get to play four rounds at the no-cut event in Shanghai.

Kuchar figured to get a full week's work in at the Bridgestone Open in Japan, but the AP's Doug Ferguson reported the seven-time PGA Tour winner withdrew after two rounds due to Typhoon Lan. His fall schedule was thrown for another loop when Turkey, where he planned to be for next week's Turkish Airlines Open, and the U.S. suspended nonimmigrant visa services. As a result, Kuchar withdrew from that event as well.

''It looked like things were getting to a point where it was better not to go,'' Kuchar told the AP. ''I did some homework with a U.S. senator friend of mine who checked with the State Department. When the U.S. stops issuing visas, there's an issue.''

When U.S. last saw Kuchar, he was an important cog on Team USA at the Presidents Cup -- both on the course and in the press room. The 39-year-old is coming off a season in which he racked up nine top 10s and finished 14th in the FedEx Cup. Surprisingly, it was the third consecutive campaign in which the consistent earner failed to win a PGA Tour title. However, he nearly claimed a first major at the Open Championship before losing a final-round battle with Jordan Spieth.

Kuchar is playing in the WGC-HSBC Champions for a third time. He finished T-21 last year and T-19 in 2009 before it was an official PGA Tour event.