MORE INTERVIEWS: The Barclays transcript archive
CHRIS REIMER: We will get started. We have Matt Kuchar, also 12‑under par. Matt, let start off by saying some bad things about Gary Woodland (who is still in the room).
MATT KUCHAR: Man, that guy can play some golf (laughing).
Gary was really impressive today. His front side they put together was awesome. It was quite impressive. Got a couple bad breaks on the back side and it was kind of flip‑flopping for him and I. I felt like a couple bad breaks for me on the front nine and got to playing some good, steady, solid golf on the back nine.
I've been playing some nice golf these three days. Today was really difficult this afternoon, even this morning, the restart, it was blowing 15 or 20 miles an hour. Felt like it was definitely blowing all of 15, 20 miles an hour this afternoon, as well.
The course seemed to play a good two or three shots harder I think today than it did the first two days.
Q. The sprinkler head‑‑ just a bad break?
MATT KUCHAR: Yeah, I knew it was there. I left myself in a terrible position. I thought I could get it just a little bit closer to where Webb was, five more yards would have made it an easy shot.
So I was in a bad position, and walked the line, saw the sprinkler head, knew it was there. Typically -- I've seen this before. I've had it happen before; a ball that rolls over a sprinkler head kind of takes a bounce, it hits the sprinkler and bounces up over the next lip. It turns out actually kind of like normal.
This ball ended up, the way it worked, there was‑‑ normally you kind of have lips on all sides. There was no lip on the front side and a lip on the back side, and it just went right in and kind of one of those unlucky things.
But had I got that ball up‑and‑down. I mean, that's a 1‑in‑20 up‑and‑down.
Q. If this course was playing a couple strokes harder this afternoon, how do you explain Kevin's 62?
MATT KUCHAR: Darned good golf. It seems to be‑‑ in all the golf I've played, no matter how tough the conditions are, somebody finds a way to play good golf. Whether it was junior golf, collegiate golf, professional golf, somebody seems to find a way. 62 is just awesome, really good play. Good for him.
Q. How much difference in terms of enjoyability of this course does it make without having the rough this year?
MATT KUCHAR: I don't recall the rough of '09, and I don't know scores, what was winning score in '09.
MATT KUCHAR: 9‑under. I don't always think rough equates to much of different scores. I more equate it to firmness of greens.
I always think the firmer the greens are, the closer to par scores will be. We've had some pretty good rain here, pretty soft conditions. I think that's why we're seeing some lower scores than we saw in '09.
Q. Secondly, I'm trying to remember the story, so I'm going to need some help from you, from the World Cup, when there was a plan on 18 and I think you told Gary to go ahead and hit driver, something like that, can you talk about the finish to the World Cup with you two?
MATT KUCHAR: Going into the World Cup, I was the highest‑ranked player, so I get to select my teammate. In doing so, I was very excited to qualify, very excited to have the opportunity. I was even willing to sell myself to somebody had they gone ahead and accepted the bid that was ahead of me in the World Rankings.
So when I was the top‑ranking professional that accepted the bid, I did a lot of looking around and kind of looking at the golf course and seeing who I thought would really help me to win the golf tournament.
The course was I think 7,800 yards long. Kind of said, narrows it down pretty quickly to the guys I think I'm going to choose. Gary had become a good friend and knew he had all the horsepower and talent. Picked Gary for that reason, for the horsepower, and knew that that would be a huge advantage.
So I had played the tournament a long side of him, and saw he was just driving it great. 18 was a perfect opportunity to take bunkers out of play down the left side and there was water on the right, but with him hitting driver, you could pretty much go as far as you want and as left as you want and you were okay.
So, encouraged him to stay aggressive, hit driver, and helped me; make the second shot a little easier on me.
Q. Given your track record in this event, is there something about this time of year? Do you just peak at this time of the year? Do you just like this part of the world, is there any explanation for it?
MATT KUCHAR: No, I'd like to think my game continues to improve during the year, and you're always going to have your up‑and‑downs. I certainly haven't gotten better with every week out here.
But I had just come off of a big stretch of golf, a lot of really big tournaments from British Open, Canadian Open, Bridgestone Invitational and PGA, and kind of had geared up pretty high for those tournaments.
I think it's just a continuation of kind of gearing up and really working on the game to try to be on my best form during that stretch, and it's continued over to this part of the year.
Q. Playing off of that, the Playoffs, is there any extra incentive? You play so well this time of year, with the Playoffs‑‑
MATT KUCHAR: There's a $10 million incentive, absolutely (laughter).
Yes, these are great events. It's become a really fun format. I've had my chances in the past. You know, been rewarded pretty well for some of my play.
But yeah, I'd like to go home as the FedExCup Champion, absolutely.
Q. You and Gary are both accomplished athletes in other things other than golf; do you ever play him in anything other than golf?
MATT KUCHAR: No, we did on Tuesday‑‑ it wasn't playing against each other, but we were invited by our agency, Excel Sports Management, down to the Mets game. They have a box at the Mets game, and they represent a number of the Braves players who happened to be playing against the Mets that night.
Gary is actually friends with a couple guys, without the acquaintance of Excel. We were down on the field, watching some batting practice. Brian McCann took us down to the clubhouse and showed us around the locker room and showed us kind of around the clubhouse. And there was an indoor batting cage and nobody was there and I said, "Brian, come on, you've got to let us sneak in there. Can we go in there?"
He said, "Yeah, yeah, absolutely." We go in, and I moved the net where I could pitch, and Gary hit, and was really impressive. I didn't hit and didn't show anything differently, but Gary was impressive swinging a baseball bat.
I wasn't trying to strike him out. I was pitching him batting practice pitching.
Q. Faster than Mickelson, for example?
MATT KUCHAR: I don't know how fast Mickelson brought.
MATT KUCHAR: I would assume I'm about the same. I was just feeding them in to see if he could hit them. He hit a great swing and it was kind of fun to sneak in.
Q. At the end of major season, if you have not had one, if you have not won, you said at the beginning of the year, that was one of your goals. Is there a letdown, and does this help to sort of get past that?
MATT KUCHAR: I was really bummed after Saturday's round at the PGA. That was a pretty good letdown for me. I was right there in contention. I think I was one back of Dufner or two back of Dufner going into the weekend, and had a bad Saturday.
I felt like I was playing really good golf. Even on Saturday, I felt like I played some pretty good golf and just seemed to end up on the wrong side of things.
But, no, no, other than‑‑ other than just that kind of Saturday post‑round for that 20 minutes or whatever, I was bummed out. It's pretty easy in golf to move on. You have to. You show up the he next week, regardless of what you did; even if you won the PGA, you start over from scratch that next week. You show up and time to start playing again.
Q. How did you and Gary first get to know each other?
MATT KUCHAR: Paired together. Just paired together. And our caddies are really good friends. Our caddies caddied together on the LPGA Tour. So I think just in one of the pairings, there was kind of an instant bond there and Gary and I formed a fast relationship.
CHRIS REIMER: Thanks, Matt.