DUBLIN, OHIO | Matt Kuchar at Merion? Kuchar’s impressive performance in winning the Memorial Tournament by two strokes over Kevin Chappell Sunday at Muirfield Village only reinforced the growing notion that the 34-yearold belongs on the short list of favorites when the U.S. Open begins in less than two weeks. “Great golf breeds great golf and winning tournaments breeds winning more tournaments,” Kuchar said. “Anytime you finish off a tournament is a huge amount of confidence. When I get to Merion, I’ll have a lot of confidence.” Kuchar had already planned to visit Merion before the U.S. Open and after listening to tournament host Jack Nicklaus talk about the virtues of going early to a major championship site, it reinforced Kuchar’s decision to get a pretournament look at the course. He’s not done that for any major other than The Masters. Kuchar’s victory at Muirfield Village looked easier than it was because of his laconic style, his loping walk and that smile even a new beard can’t hide. Kuchar plays unhurried golf and, more and more these days, he plays seemingly mistake-free golf. At the Memorial, Kuchar handled the unceasingly blustery conditions for four days, stringing together rounds of 68-70-70-68 on a layout that landed its share of body blows on Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and others. Kuchar wasn’t perfect – his 118 putts were one fewer than Woods, who blamed his putter for his lost weekend – but he avoided the big mistakes that derailed so many players.