Crowne Plaza interview: Matt Kuchar

May 23, 2013

MORE INTERVIEWS: Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial

MODERATOR: Matt Kuchar joins us after a 5-under-par 65. Matt is making his 7th start at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial Never missed a cut here and you're off to another a good start today.

MATT KUCHAR: That's a good stat. I didn't know that about this place. I really enjoy coming here. This is one of my favorite courses on the PGA TOUR. I think it just requires you to do so many different things well. I think it helps to be a long hitter, but certainly a lot more than that, it helps to be accurate around this place. I always have a good feeling here and got off to a good start. I made an aggressive play off the 10th tee, decided to go with a 3-wood off the tee. It's normally a hybrid. The wind I thought was (inaudible), I hit a good one down there to just a pitching wedge in and was able to birdie the first and felt like there was some good momentum going after hitting a couple of good shots and getting off to a birdie on my first hole. From there I played steady golf. The only slip was kind of a 3-putt from a long way away on the fourth hole, the par-3. Other than that, it was really good steady golf.

Q. Can you just talk about 1 and 2. I think you went in the fairway bunkers both times, and were able to save for birdie, just talk about what that does for you?

MATT KUCHAR: The course conditions out here are fantastic. The greens are some of the best greens we played all year. There are reallygood shape. I feel like you get inside of ten feet you got a good feeling that you are going to make the putt. The fairway bunkers here are firm which makes hitting iron shots just much easier. So I played a number of really good fairway bunker shots, even with the sand wedges in my hands on a couple of holes which generally are a pretty difficult to hit out of fairway bunkers. These fairway bunkers are just firm enough where the ball sits really nice, and helps out and makes our shots a lot easier. I got in a number of fairway bunkers and played a lot of nice shots out of the them.

Q. I think before today your best opening round here was a 68. So obviously you got a pretty good jump this week. Is that one of the reasons why maybe you haven't contended as much here in the past because you haven't started strong?

MATT KUCHAR: I would have to say I haven't played as well as I would have liked here in the past. I think this is a place you got to come here and you've got to be hitting the ball well. If you're not, this place can turn a hole, a potential birdie hole, to a hole you are scrambling to make par on. It's a place where if you're not driving it out of the fairways, and you are chipping it out from trees, it's a place where you really got to be in full control of a lot of different clubs, and you hit a lot of different clubs off the tees. Drivers, 3-woods, hybrids, long irons off tees, so it challenges a lot of clubs in the bag. I probably haven't been quite as sharp as I would like to be around this time. I'd say this year I feel a lot sharper and off to a better start.

Q. How long have you been with Chris and how did that relationship start?

MATT KUCHAR: 2006 I was on the Nationwide Tour, I was hanging out with some of my  buddies from Georgia Tech, also playing on the Nationwide Tour, Matt Weibring being one of them, talking about our golf swings, trying to help each other out. Matt Weibring recommended that I see his buddy, Chris O'Connell. Chris was a family friend that he worked with, so I took his advice, went out to Dallas and saw Chris and clicked right away. I feel like the nice thing about working with Chris, I feel like I've gotten better every year. I feel like I made my way on to the PGA TOUR, through the Nationwide while working with him. Each year I feel like I played better golf.

Q. What did you think of his place, you went there Saturday?

MATT KUCHAR: I went Monday this week to the new facility, the course is in Water's Creek. It looked like a great set up. I only saw a bit of the driving range, but the short game area was fantastic, a neat little chipping area. I thought having a short course was really cool for the kids. It seems like they got a lot of really good stuff going on out there.

Q. Have you done anything different? You say you are hitting the ball sharper, anything in your preparation leading into this week that you tweaked that might account for that?

MATT KUCHAR: No, I really enjoy this time of year in that I get 2 extra weeks with Chris O'Connell. Chris is a local here in Dallas. I spend a week at Byron Nelson putting in extra time with him and this week, and I feel like I start coming along maybe the end of this week. Things get really clicking. We got out some good stuff late in the week at Byron Nelson and then into this week things have kind of transferred and clicked pretty well.

Q. Anything in particular that he brought to the table for you during Nelson week?

MATT KUCHAR: No it's always the same stuff. He always tries to get me a little more rounded and it finally clicked late in the week at Nelson.

Q. Is this the course, you talked about you haven't gone real low, but you have made every cut, a lot of 16th and 20th, is this a course that suits your eye and that you can contend on?

MATT KUCHAR: Yes, I love coming here. We had pretty benign conditions out there today. I think most years we get a pretty good dose of wind. I think we get the proper Texas wind of 20 miles an hour most days out here. Today was probably 10 and under all day. It was definitely -- if this course can ever play easy, today might have been it.

MODERATOR: Anything else? Matt, appreciate your time. Great start.