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May 15 2012

8:09 PM

Kuchar’s challenge: Win two straight

Watch: Kuchar on his consistency

Newly crowned PLAYERS champion Matt Kuchar discusses his consistent play going into this week's HP Byron Nelson Championship.


By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM

IRVING, Texas -- Now that he's won the biggest tournament of his PGA TOUR career, Matt Kuchar faces the challenge of quickly getting refocused again this week at the HP Byron Nelson Championship.

It won't be easy. No player since Tiger Woods late in the 2009 season has won a TOUR event on consecutive calendar weeks. Rickie Fowler came close last week, finishing tied for second two strokes behind Kuchar, just one week after winning the Wells Fargo Championship.

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Kuchar
Kuchar, fresh off Sunday's win at THE PLAYERS Championship, is trying to get back to a normal routine while still having to pinch himself about his success at TPC Sawgrass.

"Didn't do much sleeping on Sunday (night)," Kuchar said, "got up early Monday and had to read the paper and and watch the highlight reels just to make sure it really did happen. Had to go through a couple of different checklists to make sure it all did happen."

Of his three previous wins on TOUR prior to THE PLAYERS, Kuchar twice played the following week. After his 2002 win at The Honda Classic, he finished T28 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard. And after his 2010 win at The Barclays to start the FedExCup Playoffs, he finished T11 the next week at the Deutsche Bank Championship.

He said the biggest challenge is trying to get his work in while going through the added responsibilities of media and other obligations, along with meeting with friends and fellow TOUR pros looking to congratulate him. He said a normally three- or four-hour practice routine on Tuesday might turn into seven or eight hours.

"The challenges are the extra distractions," he said. "They're great distractions ... They're fun stuff. I wouldn't want it a different way. Having your peers and players come up and congratulate you is a great feeling."

Kuchar said winning such a big event as THE PLAYERS might be reason enough to take the next week off. But his swing coach Chris O'Connell is from the area, giving Kuchar a chance to put in extended work on the range. Plus, Kuchar finished tied for sixth here last year, so he's encouraged about his chances this week.

Plus, his children like making the trip.

"My kids always want to put on their cowboy boots," Kuchar said. "They know that cowboys live in Texas, so when they come here, they want to be cowboys. So they have a good time coming to Texas as well."

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