"To shoot 7 under back-to-back is unexpected, but awfully excited", said Kuchar.
Beneath that cap is plenty of gray hair.
Keith Mitchell (63) and Chez Reavie (66) are four strokes off the pace going into the final round, which appears likely to be a shootout between the top two at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu.
The only other time Kuchar won twice in the same season was in 2013, when he won the Match Play Championship in Arizona in February and the Memorial in early June.
The 40-year-old maintained his bogey-free round with a classy up-and-down from a greenside bunker at the 17th, and he was forced to lay up at the last following a blocked drive into a fairway bunker and was unable to convert another birdie chance from 15 feet.More news: Injured, 2 At-Large Following Shooting At Mall Near Salt Lake City
Kuchar, who had been winless for almost four years until his win at the Mayakoba Classic late in 2018 now appears likely to add a 9th PGA Tour title just three months after his 8th.
He recorded an 18-under 192 total, while Putnam drained a birdie at the last for a 67 to go 16-under.
Putnam pulled even with Kuchar with three birdies in the first five holes. There are a lot of good players out there.
"It's not often you feel like you know what you're doing with your swing and the ball's reacting the way you want it to and you're able to maneuver the ball the way you want", Kuchar told reporters.More news: Mortal Kombat 11 Cover Art Disclosed By Ed Boon
- PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) January 13, 2019 " rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" tied his career low round of 63.
Corey Conners, Davis Love III, Charles Howell III, Dominic Bozzelli and Brian Stuard will all begin the final round tied at 11 under.
Kuchar was at his best on a number of putts from the 50-foot range. "I have to stay aggressive".
DIVOTS: Gary Woodland, who didn't shoot worse than 68 last week and still had to settle for runner-up at Kapalua, was among 10 players who missed the 54-hole cut because more than 78 players made it to the weekend. He shot 76. Also missing the 54-hole cut was Steve Stricker, who will stay in Hawaii an extra week for the opening event of the PGA Tour Champions season.More news: Hurricanes hire Dan Enos as offensive coordinator