Defending champ Kuchar, Justin Thomas set for Hero Challenge clash

golf icon isnEdinburgh: Defending champion, Matt Kuchar, heads an elite field of two Major champions, and a host of European Tour winners, as the year’s second edition of the Hero Challenge takes place at the Renaissance Club on Tuesday night.

Kuchar, current World No. 13, and the only past winner of the Hero Challenge in the field, will also be attempting to become the first player ever to win the Challenge more than once. No champion has been repeated in the previous editions of the Hero Challenge which will see it ninth staging since it was first introduced in the week of the 2016 British Masters.

Kuchar is among the players who sees the Hero Challenge as the beginning of his Links campaign as he plays the ASI Scottish Open an The Open, which is the final Major n the revamped 2019 golf calendar. Kuchar has felt that playing a Links course at Scottish Open helps his efforts at the Open. He was runner-up in 2017 and ninth in 2018. He was also fourth at the 2017 Scottish Open.

Kuchar, who first played the Hero Challenge in 2017, won it at the iconic Edinburgh Castle last year.

This year’s second Hero Challenge will be held at the par three 15th hole at the Tom Doak-designed Renaissance Club.

The six-man field at the Hero Challenge includes Major winners, the 2017 PGA winner, Justin Thomas, and the 2010 US Open winner, Graeme McDowell. Both will be making his debut at the night golf contest on Tuesday.

The other players in the will be Hero Challenge debutant two-time European Tour winner Lucas Bjerregaard; Matt Fitzpatrick, and Tyrrell Hatton.

Kuchar this season has won the Sony Open in Hawaii and also finished second at WGC-Matchplay and one more event.

This season Bjerregaard shocked Tiger Woods in the quarters at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play before losing to Kuchar in the semi-finals. Fitzpatrick was the runner-up at the BMW International Open last month.

This year’s first Hero Challenge was won by English golfer Tommy Fleetwood ahead of British Masters he himself hosted in May.