GOLF Magazine Interview: Matt Kuchar

GOLF Magazine Interview: Matt Kuchar

"I think I have the knowledge now that winning major championships is something that I can do."
Courtesy of Bridgestone

What’s been the biggest
adjustment for you now that
you’re considered one of the
Tour’s elite?

It’s probably
the extra time commitment
that’s involved — everything
from signing extra
autographs to handling
additional media requests.
I used to be able to practice
as much as I wanted to, and
come and go pretty much as
I pleased, but that’s
started to change a bit
recently. It’s a tough
balancing act when you
have to add an extra hour or
more to take care of things
that didn’t used to be part
of your normal routine.

Are there any extra perks?
No, not yet. It’s a lot more
fun. It’s fun to see yourself on a magazine cover, you know, fun things
like that. You get a lot more support, a lot
more fanfare. I seem to get a lot more phone
calls from old friends that I haven’t caught
up with in a while.

You’ve had numerous highlights this
season, but which one would you say has
been your personal favorite?

Having the kids run out on the green with
my wife after The Barclays. We got some
fun pictures of them running out on the
green. It’s something as a player, and then
as a father, that you really aspire to — you
can’t wait to have that happen to you. It’s
fun to watch it happen to other people,
and you really can’t wait for that to happen
to yourself.

Let’s talk about the PGA Championship.
You led for 36 holes. What did you learn
about yourself that week?

Well, there seems to be a lesson in everything.
We all aspire to win major championships,
and to get myself in contention, to
have the lead after 36 holes, tells me that if
I can do it for 36 holes, then I really ought
to be able to do it for 72 holes. I think I
have the knowledge now that this is in my
grasp, that winning major championships
is something that I can do.

What were you thinking coming down the
stretch at The Barclays to keep yourself
in the zone?

I’m always a competitor. I’m not there just
to have a good time. I want to play well
and perform well. It was nice that I ended
up having a chance even though I was a
few strokes back going into Sunday. It’s a
difficult course, and I made some birdies
early. And then it was really great to make
a couple of birdies late. I birdied 16 and 17
and was able to sneak into a playoff.

You’ve mentioned how important it is to
improve. What’s on your agenda for 2011?

Even if you finish the year at No. 1 in the
world, and Tiger Woods has done this,
you can still probably get better. There
are so many aspects of the game that you
can work on — you can drive it father, you
can drive it straighter, you can hit your
irons higher and more consistently, you
can get better with your wedges, and you
can always putt better. There’s never an
end to that striving to get better in golf.
It’s a great thing about the game.

Your dad, Peter, was quite visible when
you burst onto the scene in the late ’90s,
but he’s receded into the background.

I had great success when he caddied for me,
and I’ve had great success now that I’ve got
a regular caddie. It was great when I was
an amateur and didn’t have any money.

What’s it like to be on the road all
the time?

My wife travels just about every week, as
do the kids. It’s easy to stay busy, although
what we’re doing every day I don’t always
know. We always stay with friends — it’s
easier. You have a kitchen and a living
room, a place to go watch TV and relax
instead of having to be quiet all the time
because you’re afraid you’ll wake the kids.

How do you know so many people

[Laughs.] I don’t know! Golf’s a great game,
and you meet a lot of people along the way.
I’ve met a lot of people who’ve invited me
to stay with them over the years, so I guess
it just adds up!

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