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July 7, 2015

Matt Kuchar


MICHAEL GIBBONS: Welcome, everyone. Welcome to Scotland. Nice weather for you. Good to have you here at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open. Matt, just start us off with being here, happy to be here in this glorious weather?

MATT KUCHAR: It is. It's good to be back. We were here at Muirfield just down the road a couple years ago. This area is great. I've got a lot of good friends. Going to visit some friends for dinner tonight. I enjoy the golf. I enjoy the people. This area, in particular, has got some fantastic golf. I'm looking forward to a great week.

MICHAEL GIBBONS: Give us your thoughts on your game at the moment. Pretty good shape coming into the next few weeks?

MATT KUCHAR: I'm quite excited. Maybe as excited as I've been -- feel as if my game is in very good shape. So I'm looking forward to playing. I played well at the U.S. Open. Felt like I was doing a lot of good things. Had two weeks off and it was hard not to play because I knew I was on good form, and excited to be here, still on good form. There's a big part of the schedule still left for me, starting here through the British Open, and then it's just kind of one big tournament after the next starting from this week.

Q. How does it change the tone or the nature of this competition without Rory McIlroy, do you think?
MATT KUCHAR: I don't think it does. I think that's the great thing about the game. I think you've got a lot of great players here. I think we saw it on the PGA Tour when Tiger was out for a while. We saw the Tour continue and then the Tour continued very strong. One of the great things about the game of golf: Anybody can win. Great stories come from every event. I think we've seen some great young players come into the game and take some of the spotlight, which has been great. I think this will continue on and you'll have a great championship week and a great champion at the end of the week. Things continue to move on.

Q. Is there a sense -- obviously Rory is a huge player, No. 1. Are there any players out there do you think breathing a little easier because Rory is not playing; that they have got more of a chance now?
MATT KUCHAR: No. We are not playing tennis. We are playing golf. It's not a match-play situation. It's not like Djokovic is now out of the draw and now everybody can breathe easy. You've got a golf course here that everybody plays against in Gullane. You've got0, I'm not sure how big the field is, 140-, 130-odd players to compete against. If you're worried about one guy, you're probably not going to be around here very long.

Q. Apologies for another Rory-related question but I think you can sympathise with him in perhaps you picked up a rather unusual injury which kept you out of the US PGA last year. Could you just remind us what you did?
MATT KUCHAR: I did not do anything. I just sat in a car for a long time and back seized up and I wasn't able to play.

Q. So therefore, do you sympathise, Rory has been getting some criticism, people saying, you shouldn't be playing football a couple of weeks before The Open Championship. Do you, therefore, sympathise with him that injuries just happen?
MATT KUCHAR: Whether he still plays at the British Open?

Q. I don't think he's ruled himself officially out but I don't think there's any real chance.
MATT KUCHAR: Yeah, I'm not familiar with exactly what it is that happened to him. Never fun to miss any tournament, particularly be tough if he had to miss the British Open. But I don't think you can stop living your life. You can't form a bubble around yourself. It's not as if -- you know, you can walk down to the coffee shop and twist an ankle on your way down to the coffee shop. You can't protect everything. And so I don't think you stop doing what you've always done to this point. So it's too bad, but I don't want to say he made a terrible decision in doing what he did. It's just bad luck and those things happen.

Q. Just in terms of playing here this week, what is the thinking? Is it to get links experience or is it to get competitive experience?
MATT KUCHAR: Both. The great thing is it's both. You're here; you acclimate to the time, the weather, the golf. It's like a great tune-up. I played Loch Lomond a number of times and I love Loch Lomond, but I think what they have done with moving it to links golf is such a better formula to have players prepare to go to the British Open. I think similar, we always talk about Wimbledon. You don't play a clay court tournament the week before Wimbledon. You get to Queens and you play the grass court at Queens. I think coming over and doing a links Scottish Open is great.

Q. Do you think the players who are playing the John Deere Classic, given the time difference and the nature of the golf course over there, and obviously Jordan Spieth with what he's got on the line, are they putting themselves at a disadvantage?
MATT KUCHAR: No. No. Everybody's got their own way to prepare.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
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