TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola interview: Matt Kuchar

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September 18, 2013

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THE MODERATOR: From one player in the top five to the next. We have Matt Kuchar coming in at No. 5 in the standings. A great season. I'm sure you'd love to cap it off in control of your own destiny here at the TOUR Championship by Coca Cola. Talk about ending this season finale right where you want to be in the top five.

MATT KUCHAR: Looking back, it's been an amazing year. For years now, a goal has been to win multiple times on the PGA Tour.

I've had some great wins, but this year to win the World Golf Championship, to win the Match Play out at Accenture, and to win the Memorial Tournament, just a couple of fantastic fields, great golf courses. So to have accomplished that goal is great.

Now to be back at TOUR Championship, to be inside the Top 5, for me, I remember years ago that one of my number one goals was just making the TOUR Championship, getting inside the Top 30, which was a big deal.

I wanted to come back, wanted to play East Lake. I feel like it was coming home for me. Now I've actually had a couple of visits to East Lake inside the Top 5. It's the place you want to be. You really want to be in that No. 1 position. Your best chance is from that No. 1 slot, but being inside the top five is a big deal.

I think, if you had your way, you'd want to win the TOUR Championship to win the FedEx Cup. I've seen a lot of guys do it that way. I think back to Furyk, to Bill Haas, to Snedeker, all winning here and then winning the FedEx Cup is just a great way to do it.

So for me, stick with the goal for this week. It's great to be inside the Top 5 where you can control your destiny, but, again, kind of big picture, it's really exciting just to be back at East Lake. It's one of those things that stays on my list of goals to continue to qualify for this championship.

Q. Matt, I know you're keenly aware of your position on the FedEx Cup standings right now. Are you also aware of where Brandt Snedeker was last year and sort of the connection between the two?

MATT KUCHAR: Keegan Bradley filled me in with an interesting connection there. I guess on the flight down to Atlanta from Chicago, we shared a flight, and Keegan was going over the list of FedEx Cup, where everyone stood. I was sure that I had been bumped down to No. 6. It looked like Furyk and Stricker were both passing me last week, bumping me from 4 down to No. 6.

I got on the flight, and they were discussing, I think, Dustin Johnson was last man in at 30. So I asked if I could see his phone and just take a look see of where everybody had finished. I was shocked when I saw I was No. 5 and I only got bumped one spot. Keegan says, wow, that's quite strange. It was last year, same exact situation flying down with Snedeker that he thought he was going to be No. 6, and as the points all fell where they did, he ended up in fifth place and went on to win the TOUR Championship and the FedEx Cup.

So I'm hoping that the Keegan somehow there's some sort of fate there with Keegan being the middleman amongst that.

Q. Matt, can you imagine a scenario in which you would adopt a Steve Stricker like schedule

MATT KUCHAR: Sure, sure. Certainly, family would be the reason. If it came down to it and I needed to spend more time with family, yeah, I could absolutely. I think that's the scenario that I can envision adopting that sort of schedule.

Now, I love playing golf. I love being out here competing. My family gets to travel nearly every week with me. So I'm able to spend time with them. I think they enjoy it. I think there's excitement to life on the road, excitement as a golfer. But my wife enjoys learning new cities.

Even though we've been together, married ten years now and she's been to a lot of these places, I think she has a comfort level, but still she has an excitement of going out, learning new cities, learning new places, and sometimes seeing familiar faces in these different cities.

Kids, I love having them out because we're staying in hotel rooms. Hotels may get stale or old to me. They're playgrounds to the kids. Hotel hallways is a playground to the kids. So it certainly makes my life on the road a lot more fun and entertaining, and they don't know any better. I think they enjoy being out here. They have a lot of friends that go to the daycare as well.

Right now my situation is great, but had things, situations changed in the upcoming years, that's the situation I could see adopting a Steve Stricker like schedule for.

Q. Looking ahead to the Presidents Cup in a few weeks, the U.S. has obviously dominated that over the years. Do you think for the competition's popularity, there needs to be some more international success there, or it needs to be a bit more competitive?

MATT KUCHAR: You're probably asking the wrong guy. I think anybody that's on the American team would like to continue the American domination.

It seems to be great support. I've only played in one. This is my second one. But we were down in Australia, and it didn't seem to lack in any sort of support by the Australians, and the crowd support was great down there.

I know that history favors the U.S. team, but maybe there's that great underdog role as well that the internationals play, that people may like to see the underdog do well and continue to pull. It might be like the Chicago Cubs. Wouldn't it be great for them to win? Would things change if they won a World Series? They still have huge support.

People my guess is here in the United States most of us come from some other country. There's going to be a lot of support for the internationals just because of the backgrounds of many other people. Whether it's cheering because your ancestors are from Korea or Japan or Australia, wherever they may be from, I think they'll have support here.

But as an American player, I'd like to see the domination continue of the Presidents Cup.

Q. Matt, what is your comfort level when you come back here? And on a week like this, what are some things that you look forward to doing away from the course? I don't know if they've got anything special going on just around town.

MATT KUCHAR: I feel very comfortable here. This is a place I know comfortable, but yet still excited. Walking through the clubhouse, I still slow down and kind of look at the trophy cases and admire all the memorabilia and continue to kind of try to soak it up.

It started when I first came here as a student at Georgia Tech, so I still have an excitement. I still love the golf course. I feel comfortable.

There are a few holes that are really difficult, no matter kind of how many times I've played them, I still find a few holes very challenging.

The things that I look forward to, there's a number of people that I look forward to reconnecting with, have some dinner plans set up already.

I know when I was a kid and this is something I look forward to doing years down the road, but when I was a kid, I remember going with my dad to his alma mater, Stetson University, we lived in Orlando. We'd make the hour drive up to DeLand to go to Stetson University basketball games. They had a small gymnasium, but it was packed with students and fans. Being part of that as a kid, following my dad, I thought that was one of the coolest things.

I really look forward to in the years to come taking our kids to the Georgia Tech campus. They've been to a few football games, but I think they, at the time, were too young to kind of know what was going on. I look forward to taking them onto the Georgia Tech campus and showing them around.

One of the things, I'll probably go to an old barber shop off of Howell Mill Road, a guy named Kevin, cut my hair forever when I was here. I'll probably go back and see him.

But aside from that, it will be mostly just reconnecting with friends for dinner, just kind of those friendships that we kept in touch but always nice to see face to face and get to spend some time with people.

Q. Matt, to that question and maybe to add to it, the college corner they're going to have this year, I mean, they're going to encourage the fans to wear the colors, get a little rowdy, have a little fun. Are you looking forward to seeing some of your Georgia Tech fans out there yelling and screaming for you?

MATT KUCHAR: Yeah, I hope so. Saturday, I think, is the day they normally do that. You kind of never know how many people are going to just stay home and watch on TV as far as all the college football that will be going on versus coming out. I sure hope we get some great crowds.

I plan on wearing some sort of yellow jacket colors on Saturday.

But I've got a special bond with Georgia Tech and a special bond with Atlanta. I feel like, even though we live on St. Simons now, I feel like this really is home. I feel like there's a great connection and a great bond that I have with the city of Atlanta. So it's a place I love coming back to.

I think then we've got the Falcons doing great, the Braves doing great. There's a lot of big things going on in Atlanta right now. It's just kind of a good year for the city of Atlanta.

Q. How would you assess your overall 2013 season? Maybe high points, low points.

MATT KUCHAR: A couple things I'm really proud of. One, attaining the goal of having a multiple win year, a high point. That's been a big goal of mine. Not missing a cut this year, a high point. That's a hard thing to do. You're playing against the best in the world. If you're off at all, guys are going to run past you, and you could be packing up Friday night. It's not a pleasant experience to pack up Friday night.

So to go a year now just missing sorry, not missing a cut. I think it's been two years now with only one missed cut. So it's really been a steady progression of my game. I'm very pleased with that.

Low points, I can't think of many. Low points are kind of the missed cuts. I've taken advantage of some good opportunities. A low point might have been Colonial. I had a real chance. That was a place I really wanted to win this year, was right there, I think, tied for the lead or with the lead going into the final round, and I ended up finishing second.

That's a place where I really feel like I'd like to put my name up on that wall of champions. It's a course I love, and I was pretty bummed to not win Colonial. But really excited, the very next week I bounced back at Memorial and was able to win Memorial. So it was a nice it was a great two week stretch. It was, one, kind of a disappointing finish for me at Colonial, but to bounce right back was a great feeling.

THE MODERATOR: Thanks so much. Good luck this week.

MATT KUCHAR: Thank you.

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