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March 26, 2015

Matt Kuchar


DOUG MILNE:テつ Typically we wouldn't think we would bring in even par, 72, in the interview room.テつ Matt Kuchar, it was a great round with the conditions.テつ Comments on your first round here at the Valero Texas Open.
MATT KUCHAR:テつ I think pretty much saying that I'm glad to be done.テつ It was really challenging, really difficult.テつ I'm going to kind of enjoy sitting back and watching some guys try to manage today's afternoon forecast and the wind and the conditions.テつ It was really hard.
I played fairly well.テつ You can't shoot a decent number in these conditions without being in pretty good control of what's going on.テつ That said, I also had some things go my way.テつ On the first tee shot I hit it way left and drew a great lie and was able to par the this hole.
The first hole, just a good example of how hard it's playing today.テつ I hit a nice drive in the fairway, had a sand wedge in, and hit it as cleanly as I could, putting as much spin as I could, it lands five paces on and races into the back bunker.テつ You know at 30 miles an hour, with the wind at your back, even a sand wedge is not going to hold these greens.
The Tour staff, they did a great job setting up the course for these conditions.テつ The downwind holes, they put most of the pin locations in the back of the green, hoping that you could land the ball in the front of the green and have it stop by the time it makes it to the back of the green.テつ They moved a lot of tees up, 60 yards in some spots. テつ60 yards may not have been enough on some of the holes.テつ But they did a good job setting it up.
And I hit some good shots.テつ I had two kind of easy birdies on par‑3s, which those couple of holes were playing hard.テつ I think it's the 13th hole‑‑ maybe it's the‑‑ 13th holy had a birdie, which was playing straight downwind.テつ You feel lucky just to make par.テつ To make birdies are great.
And then the third hole, a three footer for birdie there, which those are kind of good shots with some luck involved.テつ Anytime you make a birdie today you feel like you're gaining two shots on the field.

Q.テつ If I have it right you got to 2‑under on two different occasions, and I'm guessing that you're more shocked that you made it to that number about than disappointed that you let it slip back twice?
MATT KUCHAR:テつ Yeah, yeah.テつ Getting under par‑‑ just making birdies, it may not be a two shot, but it's nearly a shot and a half you're gaining on the field when you make a birdie.テつ You're really hoping to get by with pars on every hole.
I think on that first hole I was telling you about, I think I had a four footer for par, I think I backed off two or three times, just the gusts coming and going.テつ And then there was a sideways gust where you knew that the ball was going to get blown off line.テつ If it's just straight in or straight down the ball's going to stay on the intended line.テつ But when those sideways gusts get going, and you think, gosh, it could keep taking it.テつ I watched Martin Kaymer putt on the same line from five feet, he hit a nice putt, the wind took it and it ends up racing by three or four feet.
The short ones are even scary.テつ The greens, thankfully, weren't too quick, but they're drying out and you get those downwind putts, and it was really quick.

Q.テつ Can you recall a time that you played in conditions that were this trying?テつ Going into this morning did you expect the wind to be as strong as it was?
MATT KUCHAR:テつ I think we all knew the forecast was going to be pretty nasty this morning.テつ We were glad to see the rain get out of the way in the early hours of the morning.
We get pretty lucky with the conditions we play in most of the time, the Tour tends to chase the good weather.テつ However, there's been plenty of times where we played in nasty conditions.テつ I think every player that's been out here more than three or four years has played in some pretty challenging conditions.
I can remember there was only two years ago, maybe three years ago that the Tournament of Champions at Kapalua, it being so windy that they canceled play for three straight days.
I can remember the Bob Hope scoreboards blowing over, tents being ripped up off the ground.
So we certainly see it now and then.テつ It's part of what we've got to deal with.

Q.テつ You have played in rain, probably cold.テつ Is the wind, though, among the toughest or maybe the toughest conditions to play in for a golfer?
MATT KUCHAR:テつ Yeah, I think if it's just‑‑ I guess maybe it depends on how much rain is falling.テつ If it's just a rain without the wind you kind of deal with it pretty well.テつ The wind provides the most challenge.テつ It affects the golf ball more than anything.テつ It affects how you play the game more than rain or cold.テつ But we certainly had our share of all of them combined.テつ I think there's been days at Pebble Beach when it's windy, cold and rainy.テつ Those get to be the most challenging.

Q.テつ At what point does it start to play with your mind?テつ Do you find yourself trying to time the gusts and avoid it?
MATT KUCHAR:テつ Boy, I think you'll see some of the guys shooting scores that you just‑‑ hard to believe a guy like Martin Kaymer, I played with Martin today.テつ I actually thought he was on very good form.テつ He started out hitting beautiful shots and continued.テつ And he just made what appeared to be small mistakes, on the third hole, I can't remember‑‑ might be the‑‑ no, sorry, it was the 12th hole, it was our third hole, must have been about the fifth or sixth hole, hit a bunch of good shots and walked off with triple on each hole.テつ It can happen so quickly out here.テつ You look at these guys that are great players shooting in the 80s.テつ It's really a challenging thing.
And so if you're not hitting the ball solid, if you're not in full control, you're really struggling.テつ You're trying to figure out just how do I walk away with par, bogey, let's minimize the mistakes.テつ Let's not make worse than a bogey.テつ And even if you're playing good you have to go through that scenario a number of times on days like this.

Q.テつ A lot of guys are preparing for the Masters in a couple of weeks, are there things on this course that can prepare you for playing Augusta?
MATT KUCHAR:テつ I think this course you have to do so many things well.テつ You've really got to drive the ball well.テつ But another set of factors that would be similar to what we see in Augusta National, is the greens with the different quadrants, the different sections of the greens that are so important to put it on the right part of the green or in facing a difficult two putt or a difficult up and down.テつ So a lot of the approach shots I think maybe are more characteristic of what we'll see in a couple of weeks at Augusta National.

Q.テつ Any trouble today when you were afraid of that the ball was going to move?
MATT KUCHAR:テつ Absolutely.テつ I think all of us had the ball wiggling a lot, the ball oscillating a lot.テつ I had a putt on the 8th hole today.テつ It was only a three footer and basically right up the hill.テつ But I remarked the ball.テつ I could feel a big gust coming and I said I don't want to take a chance this thing becoming a 4 or 5‑footer.テつ I remarked for a second and let it blow through.テつ You could just see it starting to happen.

Q.テつ There was enough rain on the greens that kind of saved that from happening or‑‑
MATT KUCHAR:テつ Yeah, this afternoon with this wind and they dry out and bake out and become kind of crusty or worse.テつ I saw them water the 7th green.テつ We were on the 2nd green when they were watering the 7th green for a little bit.テつ And not sure if they were doing it that to many greens, but I saw them doing it at least to the 7th.

Q.テつ I wonder, you played very well this time last year, and on into the Masters and Heritage.テつ How do you see the field for the Masters shaping up this year?テつ Roy has never won it, Tiger may not be there?
MATT KUCHAR:テつ I'm not concerned with the field.テつ I'm concerned with the golf course.

Q.テつ Just to be a little different, you've been here before.テつ How would you rate the level of support that the San Antonio giving to this tournament?
MATT KUCHAR:テつ We love coming here.テつ The players ‑‑ you can see the field grow in strength and stature.テつ And a lot of things have to go into a tournament to continue to improve its quality of field.テつ I think when you start getting feedback from other players that have played, one, they love the course, two, they love the accommodations, three, the sponsor is fantastic, four, it gets great support from the community.テつ I think all of those things go into a tournament becoming a better and better tournament, getting a better and better field.テつ I think you're seeing that happen here.テつ And because you've got to have all those things going your way, you've got to have a good golf course, nice accommodations, a great sponsor and support from the community all to get the excitement to get players to want to come here.テつ And you're seeing players want to come here now.
DOUG MILNE:テつ Matt, good survival.テつ Good luck tomorrow.
MATT KUCHAR:テつ Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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