MARANA, Ariz. — The desert weather was capricious, delivering snow on the first day and biting 30-mile-an-hour wind gusts on the last. Then there was the format at the Accenture Match Play Championship, which produced several winners so unpredictable the best way to pick them was out of a hat.
Conquering the most fickle of tournaments was a player known for his constancy. Matt Kuchar, owner of an unchanging swing, an unshakable smile and an unflappable game, handed the defending champion, Hunter Mahan, a 2-and-1 defeat in the final Sunday at Dove Mountain. It was the first All-American championship match since Tiger Woods defeated Stewart Cink, 8 and 7, in 2008.
“He just made a bunch of pars,” Mahan said, referring to Kuchar, “and played really solid golf.”
That is Kuchar, a 6-foot-4 anchor in any storm. He built an insurmountable lead over Hiroyuki Fujita in the first round in sleet that turned to snow and weathered temperatures on Sunday that hovered in the 30s with the wind chill factored in. If Kuchar was ever on the verge of cracking like ice under the pressure of Mahan’s back-nine charge, he did not show it.