Golf Talk Live - Matt Kuchar Transcript Segment 2
WELCOME BACK. THIS IS 1997. MATT, I KNOW YOU REMEMBER THIS MOMENT. THE HAVERMYER TROPHY THERE BEING HANDED TO YOU IN YOUR FIRST EVER U.S. AMATEUR ATTEMPT.
THESE WILL BE SOME GREAT CLIPS. THESE ARE THINGS I HAVEN'T SEEN IN A LONG TIME. IT'S BRINGING A BIG SMILE TO MY FACE SEEING THESE, THESE THINGS AGAIN.
117 HOLES AFTER YOU STARTED THAT EVENT YOU ENDED UP BEATING JOEL KRIBEL IN THE FINALS. REMARKABLE. IT WAS A GOOD FINISH. TWO AND ONE I THINK WAS THE VICTORY, YEAH?
TWO AND ONE. TURNED OUT TO BE A GREAT MATCH.
YEAH, TALK ABOUT THAT EVENT.
OH MAN, THE U.S. AMATEUR IS SO NERVE WRACKING. MATCH PLAY TO ME IS, IS THE MOST NERVE WRACKING THING YOU COULD DO AND THAT, THAT WEEK, I THINK YOU GET THERE ON A FRIDAY. PRACTICE ROUND SATURDAY. SUNDAY THE, THE QUALIFYING STARTS MONDAY. YOU PLAY MONDAY, TUESDAY BEFORE MATCH PLAY
ON WEDNESDAY AND THEN YOU'RE JUST THERE FOR WHAT SEEMS FOREVER BEFORE, YOU KNOW, YOU DON'T WANT TO LOSE BECAUSE YOU DON'T WANT TO GO HOME AND THEN FINALLY IT WAS, THE,
SEMI FINAL MATCH, THE NIGHT BEFORE I KNEW IF I WON THE SEMI FINAL MATCH I WAS IN THE MASTERS AND DAD DIDN'T KNOW THIS TILL A REPORTER TOLD HIM THAT NIGHT AND
WE'RE STAYING IN THE SAME ROOM AND HE, WE'RE KIND OF TOSSING AND TURNING. IT GETS TO BE LIKE MIDNIGHT AND DAD'S LIKE, YOU KNOW, IF YOU WIN TOMORROW, WE GO TO MASTERS. I WAS
LIKE, YES DAD, I KNOW. SO WE, WE TOSSED AND TURNED ALL NIGHT. I DON'T THINK WE GOT A WINK OF SLEEP AND FORTUNATELY I CAME OUT ON GOOD FORM AND WON THAT SEMI FINAL MATCH.
I WAS PSYCHED GOING TO THE MASTERS AND NOW I HAD A CHANCE TO WIN THE AMATEUR AND SUNDAY'S A 36 HOLE MATCH AND IT JUST, IT'S FOREVER. I WIN IT AND IT'S MY FIRST TIME PLAYING A U.S. AMATEUR. I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT THE U.S. AMATEUR MEANS. I'M JUST EXHAUSTED
AT THIS POINT. I'M, I'M SO THRILLED TO HAVE THE TROPHY BUT I'M JUST RELIEVED TO BE DONE NOW AND WHAT CAME WITH IT WAS UNBELIEVABLE. I MEAN, NOW THAT I KNOW THE HISTORY AND WHAT IT REALLY MEANS TO BE AN AMATEUR
CHAMPION. I MEAN, IT, IT'S AWESOME.
WHAT DID IT DO FOR YOUR CAREER? ACTUALLY FOR YOU PERSONALLY AND FOR YOUR GOLF CAREER? CAN YOU
CAN YOU PUT THAT IN
IT, IT CHANGED MY LIFE. IT, IT TOTALLY CHANGED MY LIFE. HERE I GO TO BEING IN THE SPOTLIGHT AND NOW I GO TO TOURNAMENTS, PEOPLE KNOW ME, PEOPLE RECOGNIZE ME. I'M, I'M THE MAN TO BEAT NOW, AND THEN I GET THESE, THESE EXEMPTIONS. I HAVE THE, THE, THIS
TITLE, THIS CROWN. MATT KUCHAR, THE AMATEUR CHAMPION AND IT WAS EVERYWHERE I WENT. PEOPLE WERE CONGRATULATING ME. IT, IT JUST, IT CHANGED MY LIFE AND THEN JUST LIKE, THE MASTERS TOOK IT TO THAT NEXT
DO YOU LIKE THAT SPOTLIGHT? YOU SEEM TO RELISH IT.
I LOVE IT. I THINK IT'S GREAT. FOR A WHILE, THINGS GOT CRAZY WITH LIKE, DEALING WITH AGENTS AND THE POSSIBILITY OF GOING PRO. THAT GOT CRAZY, BUT BEING ABLE TO, TO OPEN UP
THE PAPER AND SEE YOUR FACE THERE AND SEE YOUR NAME THERE. I THINK THAT'S GREAT AND YOU KNOW, BEING ON A SHOW LIKE THIS. BEING HERE WITH YOU, I, I REALLY ENJOY DOING THINGS LIKE THIS.
WHEN YOU WON THE U.S. AMATEUR, IT WAS THE FIRST WIN AFTER TIGER'S THREE PEAT
WHICH MAKES IT ESPECIALLY NICE.
I FOLLOWED IN SOME BIG FOOTSTEPS
I WAS FORTUNATE. I WAS LUCKY TO BE THE GUY WHO WON RIGHT AFTER TIGER. HE, HE KIND OF MADE THE AMATEUR WHAT IT WAS, I MEAN, THEY'RE SO MANY GREAT NAMES ON IT I CAN'T SAY THAT TIGER MADE THE AMATEUR, BUT HE
BROUGHT SO MUCH ATTENTION TO IT, AT THIS TIME, AND, I WAS LUCKY ENOUGH TO BE THE GUY THAT FOLLOWED HIM AND IT WAS GREAT. SO MANY GREAT THINGS CAME OF IT, YOU KNOW. TIGER, WHEN I FIRST MET HIM WAS DOWN AT ISLESWORTH, AND I DIDN'T THINK HE'D KNOW WHO I WAS, BUT SURE ENOUGH
HE SAID 'HEY MATT, CONGRATULATIONS. WAY TO GO' AND THAT, THAT WAS REALLY COOL FOR ME. FOR TIGER WOODS TO KNOW WHO I WAS AND TO KNOW WHAT I'VE DONE AND THEN TO BE ABLE TO PLAY WITH HIM IN THE FIRST ROUND OF THE MASTERS.
THAT HAD TO BE SPECIAL AND I KNOW WHEN YOU GOT TO THE MASTERS, THE OVATION, YOU'RE WITH TIGER WOODS, THE DEFENDING CHAMPION. THE OVATION AND THE WALK THROUGH THE TUNNEL ON TO THE, TO THE FIRST TEE WAS, WAS SOMETHING YOU SAID YOU'D ALWAYS REMEMBER.
YEAH IT PROBABLY, THE TWO PARTS I'LL REMEMBER MOST IS, IS FIRST THAT, FIRST DAY WALKING FROM THE PUTTING GREEN TO THE FIRST TEE AND THE PEOPLE LINED
THIS, MAYBE 20 YARDS THAT, OF DISTANCE THERE IS BETWEEN THE PUTTING GREEN AND FIRST TEE AND IT GETS TO BE 5, 6, PEOPLE DEEP AND IT FORMS A TUNNEL AND YOU MAKE THIS RIGHT HAND TURN UNDER THE TEE BOX
AND TIGER WENT FIRST AND A BIG OVATION FOR HIM AND I WALKED OUT ONTO THAT TEE, MADE THAT RIGHT HAND TURN AND THE CROWD ERUPTED. I HADN'T DONE ANYTHING YET. I DIDN'T KNOW, I WAS JUST THE AMATEUR KID, BUT
THEY ERUPTED AND, AND THE SUPPORT THEY GAVE ME. I'LL ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT, AND THEN OF COURSE, WALKING UP SUNDAY, THE 18TH HOLE, WALKING UP WITH DAD. YOU KNOW, WE FINALLY MAKE THAT WALK TOGETHER. THAT WAS REALLY SPECIAL. HE, HE KIND OF STOPPED
ME HALF WAY UP THE FAIRWAY AND SAID MATT, REMEMBER THIS, THIS IS WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT
YEAH, THOSE ARE TWO SPECIAL MOMENTS FOR ME.
SOMETHING YOU CAN TELL THE KIDS AND THE GRAND KIDS ABOUT,
AS FAR AS TIGER WOODS AND, AND HIS PLAY, DO YOU SEE HIM VERY MUCH? HAVE YOU SPOKEN WITH HIM MUCH SINCE THEN?
I DON'T. HE SEEMS TO BE A TOUGH MAN TO KEEP
UP WITH AND GET TO.
YOU KNOW HE'S, HE'S KIND OF MY AGE AND, AND FOR A MOMENT THERE I FELT LIKE I WAS REALLY FOLLOWING IN HIS FOOTSTEPS. SO HE WAS, HE WAS GREAT. I SAW HIM FOR A BIT AS AMATEUR CHAMPION, AND, AND SAW HIM AT LIKE OPENING OF ALL STAR CAF AND, AND
WE KIND OF TALKED AND, AND DISCUSSED SOME THINGS BUT I MEAN, HE'S ALL OVER THE PLACE. I DON'T THINK MANY PEOPLE CAN KEEP UP WITH HIM.
AS THE, AS THE U.S. AMATEUR CHAMPION, I KNOW ONE THING ABOUT AUGUSTA NATIONAL IS IT CELEBRATES AMATEURS AND AMATEUR PLAY AND, AND THEY DO
MAKE YOU FEEL VERY SPECIAL THERE BECAUSE THAT'S, AFTER ALL, I GUESS WHAT BOBBY JONES WAS SO, WAS SO INTERESTED IN PROMOTING WAS GOOD AMATEUR PLAY.
OH ABSOLUTELY. FROM STAYING IN THE CROW'S NEST TO THE AMATEUR DINNER ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT, CHARLIE H LEADS IT WHO HAS BECOME A GREAT BUDDY OF MINE, BEING A GEORGIA TECH GRADUATE. A GUY IN ATLANTA. I'VE SPENT A LOT OF
TIME WITH HIM. HE ALWAYS TAKES THE GEORGIA TECH GOLF TEAM TO PLAY AUGUSTA NATIONAL. SO HE'S THE MASTER OF CEREMONIES AT THE AMATEUR DINNER AND WEDNESDAY NIGHT HE, HE GIVES HIS SPEECH AND, AND
HAS A FEW OTHER GUESTS SPEAK, AND YOU FEEL LIKE YOU COULD CONQUER THE WORLD WHEN YOU WALK OUT OF THAT DINNER. I MEAN THE, THE CELEBRATION AND IT'S, AND IT'S, THERE'S SO MUCH HISTORY THERE. IT'S AMAZING THAT, THEY MAKE YOU FEEL SO WARM AND I, I
WENT OUT OF THERE AND I WANTED, IT'S PROBABLY 10:30, 11:00 AND I JUST WANTED TO CONQUER THE WORLD. I WANTED TO GO TEE IT UP RIGHT THEN
BUT UNFORTUNATELY YOU GOT TO SLEEP AND WAIT ON IT.
WELL SERGIO GARCIA WAS ONE OF THOSE WITH YOU, THAT YEAR, WAS HE NOT?
HE WAS THE SECOND YEAR I PLAYED.
THE SECOND YEAR YOU PLAYED
YEAH, WE STAYED UP IN THE CROW'S NEST A COUPLE OF NIGHTS THAT YEAR OF '99.
A PRETTY INTERESTING PLACE THAT IS, I IMAGINE.
OH, IT'S, IT'S PRETTY NEAT. THE FUN THING IS, IS, YOU, YOU WALK UP THE STEPS THAT ARE ALMOST FLATTER LIKE. STRAIGHT UP AND IT'S PROBABLY ONLY, JUST WIDER THAN MY SHOULDERS, TO, TO
THIS, THIS HALLWAY UP, TO THE CROW'S NEST, AND THEY'RE I THINK, 6 BEDS AND 4 LITTLE CORNER ROOMS, A LIVING ROOM. IT'S VERY SPARSE, YET, AS COOL AS YOU COULD EVER IMAGINE. YOU WALK DOWN IN THE MORNING. YOU WALK DOWN
THESE STAIRS AND YOU ROUND OUT, GO AROUND THE TELE, YOU FEEL LIKE YOU COME OUT OF A TELEPHONE BOOTH. IT'S JUST, YOU COME OUT OF NOWHERE AND ALL OF A SUDDEN YOU'RE IN THE DINING ROOM WHICH OVERLOOKS THE 18TH GREEN AND THE FIRST TEE AND THE
PUTTING GREEN, AND ALL THESE PEOPLE ARE UP EATING THEIR BREAKFAST AND YOU WALK OUT AND THEY'RE LIKE, WHERE DID HE JUST COME FROM? BECAUSE YOU COME OUT OF ABSOLUTELY NO WHERE AND THEY REALIZE, OH THAT'S WHERE THE CROW'S NEST COMES FROM
AND THAT'S THAT AMATEUR KID. IT'S REALLY SPECIAL TO WALK DOWN THOSE STAIRS IN THE MORNING AND HAVE BREAKFAST IN THAT LITTLE DINING ROOM AREA.
WELL TWO MONTHS AFTER THAT OR SHORTLY AFTER THAT YOU HAD ANOTHER REMARKABLE, MAGICAL WEEK, IF YOU WILL AT THE U.S. OPEN. WE'RE GOING TO TALK ABOUT THAT WHEN WE COME BACK.
WE'RE TALKING WITH MATT KUCHAR ON GOLF TALK LIVE. WE'LL BE BACK WITH MORE IN JUST A MOMENT. WE WILL TALK ABOUT THE U.S. OPEN IN '98. ANOTHER TERRIFIC WEEK.
What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm
Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:
Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft
Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft
Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts
Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff
Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.
While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.
Watching Andrew Landry and Jon Rahm in playoff. Walking off tee talking to each other. Are you kidding me ? Talking at all. ?— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.
0 words— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
The issue is I don’t want to make you a bit relaxed or comfortable. High pressure, good.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
Did you watch the end of the NFL games yesterday ? Enough said.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
I didn’t say you couldn’t be friends and competitive. But in a playoff, 1 tiny mistake and you lose, and that devastated me. Friends before and after, competitors during play.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
Did you win ? It’s all about surviving the competition to test yourself.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.
Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over
The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.
As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.
Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.
And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.
And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.
McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.
The Ryder Cup topped his list.
Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.
When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.
“Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”
McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.
Or similar assertions from TV analysts.
“The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”
European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.
And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.
The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.
Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.
And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.
Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.
The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.
The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.
More bulletin board material, too.
Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.
Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions
Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.
The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.
It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.
The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.
“I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”
Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.