What they said: Matt KucharJanuary 06, 2013
MORE INTERVIEWS: Hyundai Tournament of Champions transcript archive
JOHN BUSH: Matt, what a week, first of all, your comments on today's play, conditions that you saw out there.
MATT KUCHAR: It's been one of those weeks, and you know that sometimes you get a good draw and sometimes you get a bad draw. Being first off has not been a good draw (laughing). There's been a lot of early mornings.
However, I was playing today with Webb Simpson and we were enjoying ourselves, actually playing some reasonable golf for the conditions. I was even and he was 1‑over par. I was thinking, in Scotland, the courses are probably more suited for these conditions. They would probably be playing in 30‑, 40‑mile‑an‑hour winds.
I do, however, remember at St. Andrews a couple years ago at the British Open being called off the course for too much wind and balls being blown off the greens.
It's a tough thing. I think the guys with the PGA TOUR, the rules officials and the course setup guys have done the best they can to make the course playable and you can't really do much about these conditions.
Q. How tough is it to start, go, stop, over and over and over again.
MATT KUCHAR: It's part of the deal out here. It's one of the things, a lot of people ask about slow play, how you deal with slow play. You just unfortunately get used to it and you just get accustomed to it.
With golf, you get Florida and you get the thunder storms and lightning and you get called off for a while and back out. It's something that, it's not a weekly thing, but something that you do get used to.
Fortunately there's a lot of fun guys to hang out with in the locker room and good guys to spend some time with, so the time passes. But you do really feel for the tournament officials, for the title sponsor, and the volunteers that have been working these really long hours and really not seeing any golf. It's been a tough one.
Q. By my count, it took you seven minutes to get your ball to the point where you could tee off on 10. Webb's caddie said it was the worst wind he had ever seen. Can you just take us through that beginning?
MATT KUCHAR: I think most of us were anticipating not really playing today. So as the countdown grew nearer and nearer to time to tee off, we were kept waiting to here that it would be a half hour, an hour delay, or something more, and then they said we are really going to go.
And I warmed up yesterday, I warmed up four different times expecting ‑‑ you always have to anticipate we are going to play. And yesterday's case, I probably had four different warmups, and on the range, it's pretty sheltered.
Warming up, you felt like, all right, maybe it's okay because you're in the sheltered area. Today, warming up on the range, for some reason, I felt like it was blowing a lot harder on the range than any of my warmup sessions yesterday. And so I was surprised to be told that we really are going to play.
I got to 10 tee and they announced my name, I could hardly hear, the wind was blowing so loud. Time to go and teed the ball up. I think I was ready to hit it, and a gust of wind came and I backed off. Went back to address the ball and another gust of wind. The second gust blew the golf ball off the tee and rolled probably four or five feet back from the tee.
We had a good laugh and thought, they have got to probably realize that it's too difficult to play. We had a pow‑wow and a meeting and took us five or six minutes to laugh it out and say, we are really going to go through with this.
Made the best of it. I'm not sure if that was the point to show that we're making every effort to play; so it's not a case where it's just ‑‑ where we are kind of thinking that it's too difficult to play. We are out there making all efforts and it really is too windy, unfortunately, to play.
Q. With Tuesday coming into play, what are you going to feel like next Sunday?
SLUGGER WHITE: Okay, it's early in the year. All of us are coming off a break. I think everybody is excited to play golf. And if you have to play 36 Monday and 18 on Tuesday, a Pro‑Am on Wednesday, it's not that much golf. If it was week five or six in a row or a guy; but this would be a guy's second week, and it's not a big travel day to get over to Sony.
It's not going to be too hard. I think everybody will continue that's planning on playing Sony to go over to Sony and have a good time and hope for some better conditions on Oahu.
Q. Has it ever happened in your career to you where three days that were supposed to be rounds have just not happened?
MATT KUCHAR: I can't think of three rounds not happening. My golf memory is not great but this has to be up there with one of the tougher conditions consistently day after day, just not being able to play.
Q. What's the mood in the locker room?
MATT KUCHAR: I think most of us know the routine and pretty much knew what to expect. Like everybody is enjoying themselves. We're here in Hawai'i and fortunately today the sun is shining so everybody is in a better mood with the sun shining.
After what we went through Friday and then having Saturday blown out, as well, we were kind of expecting that today, with the wind as strong as it was this morning, being told to go home. I think most guys pretty much could have told you what was going to happen this afternoon in the locker room.
So it was wait until 1:30 and then we all pretty much knew what the outcome would be.
Q. What are you expecting for tomorrow?
MATT KUCHAR: I'm expecting better weather. Today, I don't know how much closer we were, but the sun was shining, so everybody feels like it was much closer.
When it was blowing 30 and 40 miles an hour with wind and rain, that was not much fun. We were closer today with the sun shine. From what we have understood with the forecast, today was supposed to be a day that was playable and Monday, as well, was supposed to be a playable day. So all of us were expecting to get out early and play 36 tomorrow.
Q. Can you just describe the scene on the 10th tee with no hat, the ball blowing off the tee and you have to call a rules official before you even hit your first shot?
MATT KUCHAR: I lost my hat twice on the driving rain and that was enough. I don't need to worry with the hat anymore. So went hatless and tried to tee off and I was told that it took me seven minutes to actually hit the ball.
I talked earlier about how I think most of us were surprised to be told we were going to actually tee off and make a go of it. I warmed up a couple times yesterday anticipating to play, and on the range it was blowing harder today than I remember it blowing yesterday.
Was just a bit surprised we were going to make the effort, but the TOUR guys had slowed the greens down and said, if it's blowing the same, the greens are slower, so hopefully the balls don't roll on them, and that helped. The rules officials and the setup guys have done the best they can to keep the balls from rolling on the green and to make the course as playable as possible.
Q. (Do you think you can get 36 in tomorrow) ‑‑
MATT KUCHAR: If, let's say, it's ten miles an hour less tomorrow, yes. If it's only blowing ten or 15 miles an hour, it's very doable. But if it's blowing 20 to 30, the pace will be slow, and, yeah, getting everybody through 36 holes will be difficult.
JOHN BUSH: Matt, we appreciate your time.