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April 11 2012

5:00 PM

Kuchar sleepless after close call

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Matt Kuchar enters the RBC Heritage off a tie for third at the Masters.

By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. -- After tying for third at the Masters, Matt Kuchar admitted he had trouble sleeping Sunday night when he got home to Sea Island, Ga.

”There was so much adrenaline still going,” he said Wednesday at the RBC Heritage. “I figured it would be great to have a night in my own bed, and it was just not an easy night's sleep.”

Everything was still replaying in Kuchar’s head after he finished two shots out of a playoff between Bubba Watson and Louis Oosthuizen -- particularly his chip shot on the ninth hole during the final round.

Kuchar drove it into the trees left on No. 9 at Augusta National but gave himself a good opportunity to save par when he knocked his next shot pin high just off the green. Instead, he ran his chip shot a good 7 feet past the hole and three-putted for double bogey.

“It was in some fluffy grass where the spectators had been,” Kuchar said. “I didn't get any check on the ball.”

Kuchar said he stopped reading the newspaper on Monday mornings a long time ago because he could drive himself crazy with all the what-ifs and could-have-beens.

Still, when he got here for this week’s RBC Heritage it was hard not to think about what almost was.

“I don't think at Augusta you can ever take advantage of all the opportunities,” he continued. “The course is so difficult that you just can't be offensive that much, and particularly the way I hit it compared to the way a Bubba Watson or Phil Mickelson hits it.”

If there’s a silver lining to the week it was that it was Kuchar’s best career performance in a major championship. It was also his fourth straight top-10 finish dating back to the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship.

Kuchar, who lives in nearby sea Island, Ga., has also had success at Harbour Town, which is one of his favorite courses on the PGA TOUR.

“I've always looked at golf on the PGA TOUR that every week is a big week,” Kuchar said. “I get just as jazzed up to play the tournament in Tampa, the Transitions tournament, as I would for any. I try to use that mentality to make majors a little easier, not put so much pressure on myself in majors. There's never going to be anything that replicates the roars and excitement you get from being in contention on the back nine on Sunday. But for me coming here, there's no lack of excitement coming here.

“Hopefully I get a different color jacket.”

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