Matt Kuchar: Round One Flash Interview

Thursday, June 12, 2014

MATT KUCHAR: It sure does, it would have really been a tough finish to finish with three straight bogeys, pretty easy for that to happen out here. I felt like I just hit one bad golf shot today, that was the tee shot on 17 was pretty much it. And other than that played some really good golf.

Q. (Inaudible.)
MATT KUCHAR: Yeah, I was thinking for a while I was looking like I might go bogey-free around a U.S. Open course, which is a thought I shouldn't have had through my head. 16 and 17 got me, and almost 18. That was nice to make the par save on 11 and keep going. Played some good golf from there on in. I had three or four more birdie chances. Most of the time it feels like you scramble for par, but I was hitting some shots in and having some chances. It was good. I felt good on my game. Certainly was driving it really well early. And I thought the course was as playable as I've seen it. Just receptive enough to be able to hit shots in and know that a good shot is going to stay on the green. It was perfect conditions. The course is hard enough. Here we've got half the field done, the course was as receptive as I've seen it and 2-under is leading, I think it's playing beautifully now.

Q. (Inaudible)?
MATT KUCHAR: It's a U.S. Open, it's a thing we do on regular Tour events. You're going to miss shots. We play some difficult courses. Pars are important, 4s are better than 5s, 5s are better than 6. It's one of those things where pars at a U.S. Open are maybe more important, just more difficult. You really hate giving shots away. And out here there's some holes, I think it was 14, I was sitting there with a wedge in my hand. The tee is up, pin is front right, thinking I really don't want to miss this right, I don't want to make a bogey with a pitching wedge in my hand. Played it 15 feet left and happy with that result. It's one of those things where you feel like that's a club you should be aggressive with, but at the same time you miss by a small margin and you make a bogey with a pitching wedge in your hand.

Q. How much do you feel like your game fits what a U.S. Open requires?
MATT KUCHAR: I'm pleased with how my game has come along. I feel like I can play well week in and week out, regardless of the course. I was happy to perform well at Houston, Augusta and then completely changed gears at Hilton Head, completely different course, and continued to play well on different courses. I don't feel like my game is just tailor made for a short and narrow course or a big, wide open course. I feel like I can play well week in and week out, and certainly U.S. Opens I think my chances are good in that I scramble well. I manage my game well. Around the greens saving par is critical at U.S. Opens, and I think that's part of my strength.

Q. Your dad said you love this golf course. What about it do you love?
MATT KUCHAR: There seems to be so much strategy and course management. And there are several places where short side is actually better than long side here, with green to work with. I think short side -- it's not all the time. You have to know the course well. You have to have the right strategy and game plan in place. 16 comes to mind. 16, I think that left bunker is easier than the right bunker. It's a nice, steady slope up to the pin where I missed it on the right bunker, I was coming out of the left rough, I didn't have a real chance to attack the pin. I was playing safe there, due to where I drove it. But I looked at that situation, and that was one where, if I could, left would have been better than right. It would have been an easier bunker shot. There are a handful of those. I enjoy figuring a course out that way. I enjoy figuring out where to attack, where you can be, maybe a little bit more aggressive, and still give yourself a great shot at getting up and down for par. I think around here a lot of times it's managing misses. But even managing good shots. You hit a lot of good shots that you know aren't going to stay on the green. It's where do you have your best shot to save par from.

Q. Are you surprised how it played this morning?
MATT KUCHAR: I was. I was. I was pleasantly surprised. It was quite playable. I think it's in fantastic condition at the moment. Good shots or staying on the green. Good shots are staying good shots. I hit one of my best shots of the day on the 9th green, a 7-iron landed five feet beyond the pin, it was as high as I could hit a 7-iron and it was five feet from going over to where I'd be glad to walk off with a bogey. I think right now it's in perfect shape.

Q. Do you anticipate by Sunday --
MATT KUCHAR: Oh, I'm sure, I'm sure it will. It seems to get firm and fast and crazy and I anticipate that happening. But I sure did enjoy conditions today.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

Leaders
PosPlayerTo ParThruToday
1KAYMER, Martin-9F-1
T2COMPTON, Erik-1F+2
T2FOWLER, Rickie-1F+2
T4BRADLEY, Keegan+1F-3
T4DAY, Jason+1F-2
T4KOEPKA, Brooks+1F+1
T4JOHNSON, Dustin+1F+3
T4STENSON, Henrik+1F+3
* 10th Tee Start
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Grey - Members
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